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NYC Multifamily Sales Remain Strong in March

Multifamily Month In Review

In March 2012, there were 50 multifamily transactions in New York City comprised of 62 buildings totaling $392.365 million in gross consideration. This represents a 43 percent increase in transaction volume, a slight 6 percent decrease in building volume and a minor 3 percent decrease in dollar volume compared to February 2012, which saw 35 transactions comprised of 66 buildings totaling $404.335 million in gross consideration.

March 2012 figures were up 14 percent in transaction volume, 27 percent in building volume, and 88 percent in dollar volume compared to March 2011, which saw 44 transactions comprised of 49 buildings totaling $208.630 million in gross consideration.

“The March numbers reinforce our belief that 2012 will be a very strong year for the multifamily market,” said Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors. “From rising rents to the availability of financing to the scarcity of product, the scales are clearly tipped in favor of sellers.”

Below are key highlights from the Multifamily Month in Review, NYC:

Manhattan (below 96th Street): Manhattan activity lagged somewhat from February numbers, but March remained a relatively strong month nonetheless. The borough saw 10 trades consisting of 15 buildings totaling $212.827 million in gross consideration. Compared to February (which saw several portfolio sales), this represents a 23 percent drop in transactions and a 50 percent drop in the number of buildings but all together it equals a marginal 3 percent decline in dollar. In contrast, Manhattan’s March 2012 figures represent a tremendous improvement from March 2011 figures.

Northern Manhattan: Northern Manhattan sales activity declined somewhat compared to both the prior month of February and March 2011 figures. For the month there were five transactions made up of six buildings totaling $32.668 million in gross consideration. Notably absent from recent multifamily sales has been the neighborhood of East Harlem as trades have been highly concentrated in Central Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood.

The Bronx: With 12 transactions consisting of 13 buildings totaling $59.270 million in gross consideration, The Bronx also showed significant improvement from a lackluster February, which saw only three transactions consisting of five buildings totaling $13.7 million.

Brooklyn: For the month, Brooklyn was most active in terms of transactions, leading with 22 buildings trading across 18 transactions totaling $68.999 million in gross consideration. This was a major improvement from February figures as it represents more than double the transaction/building volume and nearly three times the dollar volume seen in the prior month. March 2012 Brooklyn figures were also well above those seen in March 2011.

Queens: After two strong months of sales, Queens multifamily activity eased up a bit in March. The borough saw five transactions comprised of six buildings totaling $18.6 million in gross consideration.

Trailing 6-Month Sales Averages: For the six months ended in March 2012, average monthly transaction volume went up for the second consecutive month, coming in at 37. This is the highest level since April of 2011, a very active period for the market. The 6-month average dollar volume remained steady at $376 million in March 2012, the third month in a row that this figure has hovered around this level.

Please refer to our Comp-Trak application for a full list of transactions across the five boroughs.

Our Observations For the Week

Investors in New York City real estate will be pleased to learn that New York has once again emerged as the “most economically powerful metropolitan” area in the world, according to an article in The Atlantic, which used estimates from the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. One reason New York secured the top spot is “it is the world’s most open and diverse large city.” London came in second, Tokyo third, and Chicago fourth.

The Atlantic published 53 historic photos of New York City that were among the 870,000 released by the city’s Municipal Archives. The photographs include old favorites such as Grand Central Terminal, Coney Island, Times Square, Yankee Stadium, and the New York City skyline.

Century 21 has agreed to open a new 125,000 square foot store at DeKalb and Flatbush in downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall in the fall of 2015. The department store will serve as an anchor for the City Point development, which will feature 675,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and 690 new market-rate and affordable apartments. Ground breaking for the bulk of the City Point development is scheduled to take place this summer.

Manhattan’s Community Board 10 has approved a preservation plan for Harlem that could add as many as nine additional historic districts to the current two-Mount Morris Park and Striver’s Row. Currently 28 buildings have been landmarked in the district, but other buildings are being considered for the designation.

Developers in The Bronx cut the ribbon on the Crotona Park Apartments, a 64-unit, low- to moderate-income project at 1800 Southern Boulevard, and broke ground on La Preciosa, a seven-story affordable housing project at 1070 Washington Avenue in the Morrisania section. The projects are reserved for tenants making less than $23,000 for studios to more than $80,000 for two-bedrooms. Some residents of The Bronx, however, maintain that what the city considers affordable is unaffordable for many.

Bethex Federal Credit Union closed on the largest loan in its 42-year history. The $1.2 million loan to a member enabled him to buy a South Bronx building that houses his two retail stores-New Orleans 99 Cent Store and Soundview Laundromat. The $30 million credit union was named by Crain’s as one of the top SBA lenders in 2011.

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