Manhattan holds up in July as US capital sales slide: report

By Adam Pincus | August 19, 2011 01:30PM

Large Manhattan investment sales remained strong in July even as national market sales fell by more than half compared with the prior month, new figures from Real Capital Analytics show.

July investment sales for properties above $2.5 million declined in Manhattan by 10 percent to $2.46 billion, from $2.74 billion in June, data from Real Capital Analytics shows (see chart). 

Deals such as Colorado-based real estate investment trust UDR closing on the $443 million purchase of the Rivergate apartment building at 606 First Avenue in Murray Hill kept the July volume in Manhattan near where it was in June.

But that modest decline was in stark contrast with the nation, which saw investment sales plummet by 51 percent, to $13 billion in July from $26.6 billion in June.

“Clearly Manhattan is outperforming the nation, which is not a surprise,” Peter Slatin, editorial director at Real Capital Analytics, said. “[Investors] are holding back in many markets, [but] they continue to have confidence in the Manhattan market.” That’s in part because the returns are better than what investors can get from U.S. Treasuries.

He said the 10 percent decline in Manhattan was small and was to be expected, after the large run up in sales last month.

Sales in the nation were hampered by the concern over the debt ceiling debate and general economic uncertainty that weighed down the market.

Slatin cautioned not to read too much into the month-over month-figures, but noted that year-over-year, the national slowdown was noticeable as well. Nationwide, July 2011 was just 15 percent above July 2010. That was the first time since February 2010 when the year-over-year increase each month was not above 50 percent.

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