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Second Quarter Multifamily Report Shows 48 Percent Increase In Multifamily Transactions

Multifamily Quarter In Review: New York City

Multifamily transactions continued to climb in New York City, increasing 48 percent in the second quarter 2012 compared to the second quarter 2011, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Multifamily Quarter in Review: New York City.

Throughout New York City during the second quarter 2012, there were 144 multifamily transactions comprised of 193 buildings totaling approximately $1.379 billion in gross consideration, compared to second quarter 2011, which had 97 multifamily transactions consisting of 149 buildings valued at $1.031 billion. The second quarter gains were more modest compared to the first quarter of 2012, which saw 129 transactions comprised of 209 buildings valued at $2 billion. Nearly half of the total dollar volume in the first quarter resulted from two institutional sales.

“Our research demonstrates the tremendous upward momentum both sellers and buyers are experiencing in today’s multifamily market,” said Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors. “Recent bidding activity, low interest rates, and increasing prices lead us to believe that this pace should carry on through the end of the year.”

Below are key highlights from the second quarter report:

Manhattan (below 96th Street): As expected, Manhattan led the city in dollar volume with $629 million in gross consideration in the second quarter, accounting for 46 percent of the city’s total volume. Fewer portfolio sales compared to the first quarter 2012 led to a quarter-over-quarter drop in the number of buildings traded, but year-over-year volume remains up. The second quarter 2012 also registered an impressive average price per square foot of $574, which is 20 percent higher than last quarter, and 12 percent higher compared to the second quarter 2011.

Northern Manhattan: While the first quarter saw several portfolio sales, the second quarter was dominated by a number of smaller transactions. The result was a 21 percent quarter-over-quarter decline in dollar volume to $133.6 million from $169 million. It’s worth noting, however, that multifamily transactions in Upper Manhattan more than doubled and dollar volume jumped 136 percent in the second quarter 2012 compared to the second quarter 2011.

The Bronx: The Bronx had a very active second quarter, posting major gains compared to the first quarter. Quarter-over-quarter, multifamily transactions were up to 31 from 23, a 33 percent increase; building volume was up to 42 from 30, a 39 percent increase; dollar volume rose to $203 million from $103 million, a 97 percent increase; and median prices rose to $4.375 million from $3.9 million, a 12 percent increase. The average price per unit fell 15 percent and the average price per square foot dipped 9 percent in the second quarter compared to last quarter, but this can be partially attributed to a few large portfolios whose pricing metrics dragged down the averages. Transaction and dollar volume also increased 17 percent and 41 percent, respectively, in the second quarter 2012 compared to second quarter 2011 figures.

Brooklyn: In terms of the number of transactions and buildings sold, Brooklyn was New York’s most active sub-market in the second quarter of 2012. Year-over-year, the number of multifamily transactions in the borough climbed to 39 from 24, a 63 percent increase; building volume rose to 60 from 45, a 33 percent increase; and dollar volume jumped to $348 million from $152.796 million, an 128 percent increase. Brooklyn captured 25 percent of the city’s multifamily dollar volume, and 31 percent of the city’s multifamily building volume in the second quarter.

Queens: Following a strong first quarter 2012 for Queens’ multifamily sales, second quarter 2012 multifamily transactions declined slightly. However, second quarter 2012 transactions represent an improvement compared to the second quarter last year. In the second quarter 2012, there were 13 multifamily transactions consisting of 13 buildings valued at $64.9 million, compared to the second quarter of 2011, which had eight multifamily transactions, comprised of nine buildings valued at $75.8 million. Though few trades take place, investors thrive on the boroughs steady, reliable returns.

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

Our Observations For the Week

Mortgage rates fell to historic lows and mortgage applications increased 16.9 percent the week ended July 13 compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The refinance share of the mortgage activity increased to 80.1 percent of the total applications. Average interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.74 percent for conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less), to 3.98 percent for jumbo mortgages, and to 3.55 percent for FHA loans.

Although New York City had a net gain of 80,000 private sector jobs in the 12 months ended June 30, the city’s unemployment rate rose to 10 percent in June compared to 9.7 percent the previous month and 8.9 percent in June 2011, the state Labor Department reported. New York State added 15,400 private sector jobs in June bringing the total number of private sector jobs in the state to 7,327,100. The state’s unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in June, up from 8.6 percent in May, and 8.2 percent in June 2011. Since the beginning of the recovery in November 2009, the state has added 342,600 private sector jobs, regaining all of the private sector jobs it lost during the recession.

Year-over-year, the inventory of residential homes in Brooklyn declined 18 percent, and the median sales price of co-op, condos, and one- to three-family homes in the borough was $586,000, up 2 percent. The median sales price for Brooklyn brownstones was $1.3 million, up 9.5 percent year-over-year.

Between January and May, permits issued for new residential housing units in New York City increased 39.4 percent to 4,059, REBNY reported. Most of the permits were in Manhattan, which had 1422 new permits, compared to 146 a year ago. New permits for Brooklyn increased 42.3 percent to 774. In the 2008, new permits in New York City peaked at 9,723.

The Lightstone Group, which paid $30 million for a nearly 1 million-square-foot property in the Castle Hill section of The Bronx, is exploring the possibility of developing an outlet mall at the site, Bronx officials have disclosed. In the meantime the Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas will continue to operate on the property. The company has an extensive track record as a buyer and developer of outlet malls.

Danforth Development Partners’ proposal to build two, 26-story buildings featuring 229 apartments and 210 hotel rooms on 125th Street in Harlem has been approved by Empire State Development Corp. The 360,000 square foot, $143 million project has been designed as an addition to the Victoria Theater and will preserve the iconic theater’s lobby and fountain. One final public review is required before the developer can break ground.

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