The Market

How much is a higher floor worth?

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
January 16, 2012 - 8:22AM

All other things being equal (square footage, apartment condition, layout, etc.), how much more is a higher-floor apartment worth?

That's the question under discussion on, where efforts to assign an exact number--in the $5k-$10k range?  1% per floor?--come to no clear conclusion, and some even argue that apartments that are too high up (say, above the 15th floor) suffer from impaired river views and should get a demerit instead of a boost.

We asked real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel to explain how he correlates dollar figures to floor numbers. 

"When it comes to floor level adjustments, we separate floor height and view into two separate amenities," he says. "The floor level adjustment reflects the actual and perceived changes in natural light, street noise and security."

The adjustment is bigger when comparing a second-floor apartment to a first-floor apartment.

Depending on market conditions, he says, "a typical adjustment might be 1% per floor before considering view differences. That's 1% of the price of the unit you are comparing it to."

Once a property breaks the roof line of the adjacent building, a view adjustment, in addition to floor level adjustment, would likely be warranted, says Miller.

"Of course if you live in a walk-up, the reverse logic applies," says Miller. Lower-floor apartments are worth more than higher-floor cousins, and the floor level adjustment would likely be higher than 1%.

Walk-up apartments above the fourth floor are often subject to more restrictive financing so that would another 'break' to be adjusted for, he says.


How to make or break your appraisal

A buyer's options when the appraisal is too low

The true value of an on-site storage unit

Will converting my half-bath into a laundry room hurt my resale value?

I fell for the view, then shut the curtains

I can't use my 43rd floor terrace--but the closets are amazing

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.