Manhattan investment sales market hits record high

Nearly 5,200 commercial properties sold in 2014, more than ever before: CushWake
By Tess Hofmann | January 30, 2015 12:30PM

The Manhattan commercial investment sales market had a rollicking 2014, with 5,197 properties trading hands, beating the previous record of 5,018 in 2007, according to a year-end report released today by Cushman & Wakefield.

“2014 was the best investment sales market we have seen in the past 30 years,” said Bob Knakal, chairman of New York investment sales for Cushman. “More properties were sold in the city than ever before.” Knakal pointed out that the dollar volume surged 45 percent to $55.8 billion, which was coupled with a 20 percent appreciation in value citywide. “It was truly a spectacular year!”

However, though 2014 smashed the record for number of investment properties sold, it failed to beat the dollar volume record, with $55.8 billion coming in second to 2007’s $62.2 billion. That was the year that Harry Macklowe paid $7 billion for the Equity Office portfolio.

Sales activity in Brooklyn, Queens, Northern Manhattan and the Bronx exceeded $15.1 billion in 2014, according to the report, surpassing the previous peak for the outer boroughs by a whopping $5 billion. “We expect this record level of dollar volume to continue and possibly be exceeded in 2015,” said Adrian Mercado, Cushman’s vice president of research.

Manhattan led the market with $41 billion in investment sales, and Brooklyn increased its sales 67 percent over 2013 with $6.4 billion.

Retail prices increased across every borough except the Bronx, with price-per-square-foot going up 34 percent in Manhattan, 27% in Northern Manhattan, 18 percent in Brooklyn, and 7 percent in Queens.

The dearth of available land combined with strong demand drove price per buildable square foot up 33 percent citywide, with Manhattan finishing the year at $579 per buildable square foot, the report states.