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Archive for the 'Market Watch' Category

North Brooklyn to Add 22,000 Residential Units by 2019

This week we’re highlighting large-scale development in North Brooklyn, deBlasio’s plan for Times Square and CMBS lending in New York City.

Large-scale development in Northern Brooklyn, which extends from Red Hook to Bushwick, should more than double over the next two years according to Crain’s and a study conducted by CityRealty. The study focused on developments that will include at least 20 units, and projects that 22,000 units will be constructed by 2019. With many of these buildings rising at least 10 stories, the large-scale buildings have the potential to dramatically alter Brooklyn’s skyline and built environment. Two such projects include Pacific Park (formerly known as Atlantic Yards), which will house 6,500 units, and Greenpoint Landing, which will include 5,500 apartments.

Shibber Khan and Criterion Group filed plans on Tuesday for a large residential project that will be constructed at 11-12 30th Drive, the site of an existing one-story commercial building, The Real Deal reports. The finished building will total 380,000 square feet and 569 residential units, and will also include a 151-car parking garage. Criterion paid $57 million for the waterfront site last October, which is in close proximity to the Astoria Cove development.

On Thursday, Mayor deBlasio stated that he will consider removing the Times Square plazas that were installed six years ago, The New York Times reports. With an influx of complaints regarding the conditions in Times Square, especially in regards to street performers and “hustlers,” deBlasio is considering restoring vehicular traffic on Broadway and Seventh Avenue through the area. The Times Square Alliance, the business group responsible for the area’s transformation in recent years, believes that removing the plazas is not a solution to crime and other problems.

Commercial mortgage-backed securities lending has seen tremendous growth in the past year as many large owners are seeking out low-cost, more restrictive securitized loans over traditional loans from a bank, The Real Deal reports. For the twelve months ending June 30th, year-over-year CMBS dollar volume increased 34% to $13.6 billion. Five out of the ten largest New York City loans during the same time period were CMBS.

AXA Financial, the American branch of the French investment bank AXA, has placed 787 Seventh Avenue and 1285 Avenue of the Americas on the market, Commercial Observer reports. The two adjacent office buildings, located between West 51st and West 52nd Streets, are expected to fetch around $4 billion, which would equate to roughly $1,175 per square foot. 787 Seventh Avenue is 100 percent owned by AXA while 1285 Avenue of the Americas is 50 percent owned by AXA and 50 percent owned by J.P. Morgan.

U.S. Foreclosure Rate Hits Eight-Year Low

This week we’re highlighting the nationwide foreclosure rate, Senator Schumer’s proposed passenger train tunnel, and Macy’s big move.

According to Inman and a report by CoreLogic, the nationwide foreclosure rate has hit an eight-year low, sitting at 1.2% – the lowest rate since December of 2007. Foreclosure inventory dropped 28.9% since June 2014 and completed foreclosures also fell by 14.8% percent since June of last year. The three metro areas with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures were all located in the South – Tampa-St. Petersburg, Atlanta and Orlando.

This week, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer proposed a plan that would develop a new passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting New York and New Jersey, The Wall Street Journal reports. Experts have noted that the two existing tunnels are already at capacity and are in need of significant repairs. Schumer’s plan involves forming a new non-profit development corporation that would piece together the estimated $15 billion cost it will take to complete the project. There are still many large questions that need to be resolved, such as what agency will manage the tunnel and where the funding will come from during an era of tight budgets.

Beijing-based investment company China Oceanwide Holdings announced this week it is shelling out $390 million for a large development site near the South Street Seaport, Crains reports. The development site consists of two parcels located at 80 South Street and 163 Front Street and will be able to accommodate an 820,000 square foot mixed use tower that would likely surpass 1,000 feet in height. The seller, Howard Hughes Company, purchased and assembled the two parcels over the past year.

Macy’s announced this week that it will be leaving its current space in Downtown Brooklyn for a larger photo studio and set space in Long Island City, Crains reports. The large department store will be taking 150,000 square feet at the Factory Building, owned by a partnership between Invesco, Atlas Capital and Square Mile. Macy’s studios had previously been scattered on various floors of their store in the Fulton Street Mall, and their new location will allow consolidation and more modern amenities. The lease is one of the largest in Long Island City this year as the neighborhood continues to attract creative tenants.

The recent surge in commercial real estate prices around the globe has fueled concern that we could be headed for another bubble, The Wall Street Journal reports. Cities such as Chicago, London, Osaka and Hong Kong experienced record highs on a price per square foot basis during the second quarter, while New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Sydney all reached post-2009 highs. In terms of deal activity, U.S. commercial real estate dollar volume spiked to $225.1 billion in the first half of 2015, up 36% from the first half of last year. Europe experienced similar volume, increasing 37% year-over-year to $148 billion.

Reports Show Year-Over-Year Increases in Dollar Volume in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Northern Manhattan and The Bronx

Ariel Property Advisors released its 2015 mid-year sales reports for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Northern Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens, all of which showed year-over-year increases in dollar volume.

Manhattan Mid-Year Sales Report

With a slew of institutional caliber office, commercial/retail and development site transactions taking place, Manhattan investment property sales had a solid start to 2015 as the first half of the year saw on both a year-over-year basis and compared to the second half of 2014, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Manhattan 2015 Mid-Year Report.

For the 1H15, Manhattan saw a total of 422 transactions comprised of 522 properties totaling $25.125 billion in dollar volume. This total dollar volume represents a significant 57% increase in dollar volume compared to the 2H14, despite a more modest 11% growth in transaction volume.

The Manhattan Mid-Year Sales Report tracks development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $1,000,000. A copy is available at this link.

Brooklyn Mid-Year Sales Report

A booming market, development sites and, more significantly, multifamily properties drove a big first half of 2015 (1H15) for Brooklyn investment property sales, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Brooklyn Mid-Year 2015 Mid-Year Sales Report.

Brooklyn saw 766 transactions consisting of 1,083 properties totaling $5.327 billion in gross consideration during the 1H15. This represents a 76% increase in dollar volume, a 14% increase in transaction volume and a 20% increase in property volume compared to 1H14. Multifamily sales, which totaled $3 billion worth of transactions for the half and accounted for 60% of total dollar volume, encompassed everything from large multifamily portfolios to existing, core rental buildings.

The Brooklyn Mid-Year Sales Report tracks development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $850,000. A copy is available at this link.

Queens Mid-Year Sales Report

A number of institutional caliber commercial, office and special purpose asset transactions took place in Queens during the first half of 2015 (1H15), causing a spike in dollar volume despite a more modest increase in transaction volume year-over-year, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Queens 2015 Mid-Year Sales Report.

For the 1H2015, Queens saw 371 transactions consisting of 511 properties totaling $2.48 billion in gross consideration. This translates to an impressive 69% increase in dollar volume, a 9% increase in property volume and a 6% increase in transaction volume compared to the first half of 2014.

The Queens Mid-Year Sales Report tracks development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $850,000. A copy is available at this link.

Northern Manhattan Mid-Year Sales Report

Northern Manhattan investment property sales saw strong, steady growth in the first half of 2015. Rising market rents and record breaking condominium prices continued to drive the submarket’s evolution into a premier destination for residents, businesses and institutions.

For the 1H15, Northern Manhattan saw 170 transactions consisting of 234 properties totaling approximately $1.15 billion in gross consideration. This translates to an impressive 24% increase in dollar volume despite a modest 7% decrease in transaction volume and a 10% decrease in property sales volume compared to 1H14, which saw 182 transactions comprised of 259 properties totaling $926 million in gross consideration.

The Northern Manhattan Mid-Year Sales Report tracks development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $850,000. A copy is available at this link.

Bronx Mid-Year Sales Report

A strengthening market for development sites and appreciation in multifamily drove modest growth for Bronx investment property sales during 1H15, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Bronx 2015 Mid-Year Sales Report.

For 1H15, The Bronx saw 215 transactions consisting of 296 properties totaling $1.267 billion in gross consideration. These figures represent a 25% increase in transaction volume and a 3% increase in dollar volume compared to 1H14, despite minor decrease in the number of properties sold.

The Bronx Mid-Year Sales Report tracks development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $850,000. A copy is available at this link.

Our Observations For the Week

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 jobs in the month of July. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3%, as job gains occurred specifically in retail trade, professional and technical services, financial activities and health care.

In an interview on Thursday, Don Peebles – real estate mogul and president of Peebles Corporation – stated that he is strongly considering challenging Mayor deBlasio in the 2017 Democratic primary, The Real Deal reports. Peebles feels as though deBlasio is currently not doing enough to help impoverished New Yorkers. The statement comes at a time when the current mayor is experiencing the worst approval rating of his tenure.

Vornado Realty Trust is making a large bet on the office market on the West Side of Manhattan, as the REIT purchased the former Otis Elevator Building located at 260 11th Avenue -located between West 26th and West 27th Streets, Real Estate Weekly reports. Situated near The Related Companies’ 26 acre Hudson Yards, the surrounding area has garnered the attention of office tenants and particularly commercial newcomers. The 235,000 square foot building is currently leased to the City of New York through 2021, and the Vornado’s purchase was structured as a 99-year land lease.

Countries in the Eurozone, and particularly Germany, have increased their real estate lending in the United States with the uncertainty surrounding Greece and the entire Eurozone, Commercial Observer reports. After several of Germany’s lenders were hit hard following the 2008 financial crisis, the country has emerged as the most active foreign lender in the United States, with $15.2 billion closed in 2014. Munich-based Allianz Real Estate Holdings, for example, had the largest year-over-year increase in lending of any insurance lender.

A&E Real Estate continued to make a splash in the New York City real estate market as the company picked up The Opal, a 14-story, 542,000 square foot property located in Kew Gardens, Queens, for $134 million, The Real Deal reports. The company has been active in 2015, having already purchased an $89 million Bronx portfolio and another 32-building portfolio spanning three boroughs. The Opal was originally purchased by The Dermot Companies from Touro College in 2003 for $13.6 million and was developed into a rental building.

New York City Experiences Construction Boom in 1H15

This week we’re highlighting the number of residential permits issued in 1H15, the second quarter’s increase in GDP, and the new plans for LaGuardia Airport.

New York City is currently experiencing a construction boom, as developers received residential permits for 42,088 apartments in the first half of 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports. The number of permits issued is already more than in any full year since 1963, which saw almost 50,000 permits. In June alone, over 17,500 permits were issued – more than the average annual total in recent years. Many are attributing the increase to the expiration of the 421-a tax abatement and the implications it may have on future development.

Real Gross Domestic Product – the value of the production of good and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes – increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter, according an advanced estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The increase in real GDP can be attributed to personal consumption, exports and government spending. Imports, although a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased in the second quarter.

The slow recovery from the financial crisis continues to bring investors and capital to the multifamily asset class, as more money has been invested in apartment properties in the United States in the past four years than in the four years leading up to the crisis, National Real Estate Investor reports. The strengthening economy and solid fundamentals have increased investor appetite and average cap rates across the country have compressed quite significantly. While cap rates are quite low and prices are very high, experts believe there is still room to grow as the difference between average cap rates and average interest rates remains quite high.

On Monday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden announced plans to totally rebuild LaGuardia Airport, creating a single integrated terminal that will be accessible via train and ferry, Observer reports. Construction is expected to begin sometime next year and will continue over roughly three years. The project will cost the Port Authority $4 billion, with about half of the money coming from private investors. Delta Airlines, who owns two of the current terminals, cooperated and agreed upon the plans. Cuomo also noted that this will be the first airport built since 9/11.

Washington Heights’ first hotel is scheduled to open next month on 181st Street, DNAinfo reports. Hotel Cliff, situated at 505 West 181st Street near the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue, will house 52 rooms and feature a glass façade with blue and green balconies. The hotel plans to cater to doctors and other medical professionals with several medical facilities in the immediate vicinity, and will offer longer-term housing on some of the upper floors. The project’s permits were initially filed eight years ago.

Mutifamily Sales Continue Brisk Pace In 2Q

New York City multifamily sales grew in the 2Q of 2015, building on the momentum of the strong figures seen during the 1Q15 and showing significant year-over-year gains, according to Ariel Property Advisor’s Multifamily Quarter in Review New York City: Q2 2015.

Multifamily Quarter In Review

For the 2Q15, New York City saw 225 transactions comprised of 364 buildings totaling $3.30 billion in gross consideration. This represents a 74 percent increase in dollar volume, a 33 percent increase in transaction volume and a 12 percent increase in property volume compared to 2Q14, which saw 325 properties trade across 169 transactions totaling $1.901 billion in gross consideration.

Figures remained relatively flat compared to the 1Q15, which was an exceptional kickoff to 2015. Pricing throughout the city continues to escalate by most measures, as seen in the 6-month trailing average, which shows gross rent multiples increasing by 1.4 year-over-year and the average price per square foot in Manhattan have eclipsed $900 per square foot. Compared to last year, average capitalization rates were down 60 basis points in The Bronx and were down marginally in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northern Manhattan.

“New York City multifamily sales have had an incredible first half and we expect this momentum will carry through to the end of the year, from both a transactional and pricing perspective,” said Shimon Shkury, President of Ariel Property Advisors. “As owners and buyers anticipate rising interest rates later this year, many are eager to do deals now to lock in current rates.”

The following is a breakdown of the multifamily market in 2Q15 by submarket:

Brooklyn. Institutional caliber multifamily deals had a big 2Q in Brooklyn as the borough saw 6 transactions trade for more than $35 million-two of which surpassed $150 million each. Leading the way was Kushner Companies and LIVWRK, who purchased 184 Kent Avenue, a 374,274 square foot luxury rental building, for $275 million, or $792 per square foot. The partnership plans to convert the building to condominiums, following a trend more commonly seen in large Manhattan multifamily trades. In Crown Heights, a 200-unit elevatored building at 805 Saint Marks Avenue exchanged hands for $44 million – double what the seller paid for the property in 2013 and highlighting the neighborhood’s rapid appreciation.

Manhattan. Manhattan continues to attract investors from all over the world, as both institutional funds and small investors alike look to take advantage of the sub-market’s safe-haven. Akelius Real Estate Management, the U.S. branch of a Swedish investment firm, made a large splash this quarter with the $167.5 million dollar purchase of 362-372 Second Avenue, a 211-unit elevatored building in Gramercy. The property last traded hands in the 1940s and sold for just north of $900 per square foot. In the East Village, an 80/20 program building constructed in 1997 sold for $60 million, or $654 per square foot.

Northern Manhattan. Although transaction, building and unit volume were down year-over-year, Northern Manhattan’s dollar volume jumped 24 percent compared to the 2Q14 as pricing in the sub-market has heated up and more single-asset trades occurred. One highlight was the sale of 1501 Lexington Avenue at the border of East Harlem and Carnegie Hill, just one block north of the 96th Street subway stop. The 161 mixed-use elevatored building sold for $92 million, which translates to approximately to $690 per square foot. In Hamilton Heights, 3621-3629 Broadway, a 65,050 square foot mixed-use building sold for $25.5 million, or $392 per square foot.

Bronx. The Bronx had a very strong quarter, experiencing gains in both quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year figures. The borough saw 79 buildings trade across 52 transactions totaling $420.861 million in gross consideration, which equates to a 73 percent increase in dollar volume, a 30 percent increase in building volume and a 24 percent increase in transaction volume compared to 2Q14. The borough’s largest trade for the quarter took place at 1749 Grand Concourse, a 423,500 square foot elevatored building, which sold for $49.5 million, or $178,000 per unit. The sale marked the third time the asset has traded since 2010.

Queens. Two large multifamily transactions pushed Queens dollar volume up on a quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year basis. The borough’s largest transaction took place in southern Astoria, where a pair of elevatored buildings located at 11-15 Broadway and 30-50 21st Street sold for $72 million, which is 20% above the price paid for the same assets in 2013. In Sunnyside, 43-31 45th Street, a 79,830 square foot mixed-use elevatored building, sold for $27.5 million, or $344 per square foot. Nearly all other transactions during the quarter were under $5 million, which somewhat explains the light number of units sold.

*The multifamily transactions included in the analysis occurred at a minimum sales price of $1 million, with a minimum gross area of 5,000 square feet, and with a minimum of 10 units.

More information is available from Mr. Shkury at 212-544-9500, ext. 11, or sshkury@arielpa.com. For a copy of the report, please see http://arielpa.com/report/report-MFQIR-Q2-2015

Our Observations For the Week

This week, the de Blasio administration implemented a new policy that will require buyers and sellers of real estate to disclose any member associated with a limited liability company, or shell company, the New York Times reports. The move was made to help remove the “veil of secrecy” that has become commonplace for shell companies, most notably in the luxury sector of the market. The city’s goal is to identify individuals who claim to reside outside of New York City in order to avoid city taxes, as well prevent criminals from purchasing property unnoticed.

The Manhattan office market is currently experiencing six-year lows for vacancy rates, dipping below 9 percent for the first time since 2009, The Real Deal reports. Additionally, asking rents in the borough have surpassed $70 per square foot for the first time since 2008. Looking at individual sub-markets, Downtown and Midtown South continue to see record high asking rents, while Midtown asking rents are roughly 10% below where they were at the peak of the last cycle.

Following the High Bridge’s re-opening after 45 years, Northern Manhattan and the Bronx have a “High Line” to call their own, the New York Post reports. Originally built in 1848 as an aqueduct connecting Westchester’s water supply to Midtown Manhattan, the High Bridge park and walkway closed in 1970 due to a lack of funding. Following a $61 million makeover, the park is now open daily, connecting the communities of Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx and allowing access to more than 125 acres of green space.

Last week, the city issued a Request for Proposals to transform a former public school into a mixed-use development, Real Estate Weekly reports. The development site, located at 425 Grand Concourse in Mott Haven, was previously occupied by Public School 31. The majority of the building was demolished due to structural issues, but many of the original architectural details remain intact, and the proposals must incorporate the details into a new design. The final project will include mixed-income housing as well as ground-floor retail or community facility.

The No. 7 Subway line is set to officially open its final station in September, as the MTA is tentatively looking towards September 13th for its grand opening, NBC News reports. The line, which will extend from Times Square to Hudson Yards and the far west side at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, has had several delays since then-mayor Michael Bloomberg called the project a huge success.

NYC Finances Over 20,000 Affordable Units In Last Fiscal Year

This week we’re highlighting the number of affordable housing units financed last fiscal year, free broadband internet for many New Yorkers and a possible comeback for the W train.

On Monday, the de Blasio administration stated that the city financed 20,325 affordable apartments during the 2014 fiscal year – the highest total since 1978, Crains reports. Of the 20,325 apartments, 11,825 were existing units while 8,500 were newly constructed units. The ratio of existing to new units is in line with the goals set forth in the Housing New York Plan, which calls for preservation of 120,000 and construction of 80,000 units over the next ten years. However, the administration found that more apartments went to a slightly higher-earning, low-income bracket than expected.

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio announced the city’s plan to begin providing free broadband internet to more than 16,000 residents throughout the city, Crains reports. The plan will target five of the city’s poorest NYCHA complexes in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. It is the goal of the administration to convey that internet access should not be a luxury, but rather a utility. Twenty-two percent of households city-wide to not have access to internet and 36% below the poverty line don’t have it.

Recently, many of the restaurants and food businesses on Smith Street have closed shop and are being replaced by larger national retailers, Commercial Observer reports. Rising residential and commercial rents, which have more than doubled for many commercial tenants to $90-130 per square foot, changing neighborhood demographics, and the popularity of the nearby Court Street have led to the changes seen on Smith Street. It is also possible Williamsburg tenants could replace storefronts in the area due to comparatively lower rents on Smith than on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

With talks of the Q line being rerouted to the new Second Avenue Subway and the Upper East Side instead of to Astoria, MTA officials have been considering bringing back the W line, AM New York reports. Ridership numbers have reached record levels, and the N train alone would not be able to provide acceptable service to the Astoria area of Queens. Infrastructure already exists for the W, and it is estimated that it would take roughly four months to get the transit system ready.

The first half of 2015 highlighted the fact that technology is playing an increasingly important role in the real estate industry, Commercial Observer reports. In the past six months alone, New York City-based tech platforms have raised $62 million dollars from investors such as Circle Ventures, Rockport Capital and Thrive Capital. Both owners and brokers alike have benefitted from new technology as companies such as Honest Buildings, a management platform, have “improved efficiency and transparency.” A recent poll of 500 real estate professionals showed that 85 percent of those working in commercial real estate were taking the time to learn how these new platforms could impact their business.

NYC Real Estate Market To Resist Greece Crisis

This week we’re highlighting Greece’s impact on NYC real estate, Wall Street firms relocating jobs to other cities and New York City’s step streets getting a makeover.

Although Greece’s exit from the Eurozone appears likely, the turmoil is not expected to have a great impact on the New York City real estate market, positively or negatively, The Real Deal reports. Greece’s GDP of $200 billion only makes up 2% of the Eurozone’s total GDP, meaning their exit is unlikely to cause waves in Europe, and likewise, New York City real estate is not expected to be affected. Experts say that there has been trouble in Greece for some time, and this event would not trigger Greek or European investors to only now diversify into New York City real estate.

Back-office and administrative Wall Street jobs have steadily been moving out of New York City for years, due mainly to generous tax breaks in other states and the prospect of paying lower salaries due to lower cost of living, Crain’s reports. Cities such as Phoenix, Dallas, Jersey City, and Salt Lake City have become popular destinations for relocating. Thus far, the de Blasio administration has not taken aggressive action to keep financial jobs in the city, but may choose to do so if JPMorgan Chase decides to moves 2,150 jobs to New Jersey in order to take advantage of a tax-incentive package.

This week, media giant Time, Inc. announced its plan to relocate 300 employees to Brooklyn’s Industry City, Commercial Observer reports. Time has signed a 15-year lease for 55,000 square feet in the 16-building, 6-milion-square-foot complex owned by Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon. Industry City rents range from $15 to $35 per square foot, and Time is scheduled to move in December.

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction are working in tandem to revitalize New York City’s “step” streets in an effort to beautify the city and reduce unwanted behavior, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the 1890’s through World War II, the city constructed 100 streets composed entirely of steps in many of the city’s hillier neighborhoods such as Highbridge in the Bronx and Washington Heights in Manhattan. Improvements such as wayfinding signs, improved LED lighting, art, transport channels, and benches are being made in order to help reshape the infrastructure.

Aby Rosen’s firm, RFR Realty, has fallen into default on the company’s Park Avenue Lever House because it can’t refinance the 21-story office property’s nearly $100 million mortgage which expired in March, triggering a $98 million payment, Crain’s reports. The company controls the building through a ground lease it entered into with the Korein family in 1998, which allows it to own the building for over 90 years in exchange for paying $6 million a year in rent. However, the ground lease rent will spike to $20 million a year in 2023 and 80% of the building’s 270,000 square feet is set to become available by 2020, scaring off any potential lenders.