The Real Deal New York

Big deals in Brooklyn, Bronx boost multifamily sales in NYC

Volume in April up 16 percent compared to last year; month-to-month figures less impressive
By Claire Moses | June 16, 2014 03:55PM

Brooklyn and – surprise – the Bronx led the way in multifamily sales in April, outpacing Manhattan in number of transactions, units sold and dollar amounts, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ monthly report.

April was a “very strong month” for the outer boroughs, Ariel Property’s Michael Tortorici told The Real Deal.

In April, 1,638 units were sold in the Bronx. That’s about half the total for all New York City for the month. The dollar amount for the 35 deals in the Bronx came in at $209 million, or about a quarter of the amount for New York City.

The sale of several large portfolios accounted for the Bronx’s surprise showing. Two Jerome Park portfolios were purchased for a combined $84.4 million. Currently, Two Trees is in contract to sell its “Morrisania” portfolio for between $75 and $85 million.

The multifamily property market in Brooklyn was hot as well, with a 273 percent increase in dollar volume compared to April of last year. The borough saw $222.5 million in sales spread over 16 transactions. The purchase of a new 127-unit building on DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick for $58 million gave Brooklyn’s overall numbers a boost.

All told, New York City saw a 16 percent year-over-year increase in transaction volume, with 50 deals involving 108 buildings. The total dollar amount for the transactions in the city in April was close to $700 million. In April 2013, that figure was closer to $524 million.

The year-over-year increase in NYC was fueled in large part by the flurry of deals in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors, told TRD. “Rising prices in those boroughs as well as in other submarkets led to several significant portfolio sales during the month, which pushed building and dollar volume higher citywide,” Shkury said.

On a month-to-month basis, however, the city saw a decrease in multifamily sales. In March of this year, 78 transactions occurred, with 121 buildings selling for a total of $1.36 billion – a nearly 50 percent drop in dollar volume from March.

Still, Shkury and Tortorici said they expect the upward trend in year-over-year sales to continue the rest of this year.

“I think the overall market will be more transactional than 2013,” Shkury told The Real Deal. “The Bronx and Brooklyn will take a big portion of it.”