The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn’s multifamily market mostly holds steady as deal volume drops off in other asset classes

Investment sales declines seen in commercial properties and dev sites: Ariel Property Advisors
By Rich Bockmann | July 25, 2016 05:10PM

Mutlifamily pricing indicators and maybe the Jehovah Witness' Building at 124 Columbia Heights in Downtown Brooklyn

Multifamily pricing indicators and the Jehovah Witness’ Building at 124 Columbia Heights in Downtown Brooklyn

Buyers and sellers continued to ink multifamily deals in Brooklyn at a relatively steady pace during the first half of the year, while other assets like commercial properties and development sites increasingly sat on the shelf, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ mid-year investment sales report.

The borough’s $2.3 billion multifamily segment ticked down to 459 deals during the first half of 2016, just a hair below where the market was at the same time last year.

“Low interest rates continue to be a positive factor in the multifamily sector, despite some buyers expressing short term caution in the borough’s rental market due to the several thousand units that are set to come on the market in the coming years,” Ariel’s report read. “Long term, these new developments will serve as a pillar of stability for the rest of the market and will fuel the continued growth in retail and commercial property values.”

Notable transactions during the first half of the year include the Jehovah Witnesses’ $105 million sale of its 152,670-square-foot dormitory at 124 Columbia Heights to Virtu Financial CEO Vincent Viola.

Office properties (-43 percent), industrial/development sites (-25 percent), special purpose sites (-25 percent) and commercial sites (-14 percent) all saw declines during the first six months, for an overall drop of 10 percent to 697 deals across the borough compared to the first half of 2015.

When it came to dollar volume, though, office properties stood out as the lone class making gains, climbing 21 percent year-over-year to $41.17 million. Multifamily deals still represent the largest piece of the investment-sales pie at a total of $2.3 billion, though that figure was down 16 percent on the year.

Special purpose properties saw a decline of 65 percent to $41 million, commercial properties dropped 46 percent to $190.3 million and industrial/development sites fell 24 percent to $1.4 billion.