The Real Deal New York

After year of decline, NYC multifamily market sees strong Q1

About $3B worth of deals went down in 2018's early months
By Eddie Small | April 25, 2018 03:40PM

980-996 Sixth Avenue, 210-230 West 107th Street and Stonehenge Village

After a notoriously slow 2017 that saw New York City’s multifamily market near death, the sector has rebounded in the beginning of 2018 to hit its highest dollar volume since late 2016.

Overall, the city’s multifamily market saw about $3 billion in dollar volume from January through March across 148 transactions and 239 buildings, according to the latest quarterly report from Ariel Property Advisors. These were increases of 129 percent, 40 percent and 56 percent compared to last year, respectively. The Bronx and Brooklyn saw volume metrics increase across the board, the only two submarkets where that occurred.

The average price per square foot metrics were mixed, rising in Brooklyn, falling in Manhattan and holding steady in Northern Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

Almost half of the first quarter’s money was concentrated in Manhattan, which saw $1.4 billion in dollar volume across 36 deals and 42 buildings. This was a monetary gain of 63 percent over the prior quarter thanks largely to three institutional sales for more than $100 million. These included the $316 million sale of the Vogue building at 980-996 Sixth Avenue, the $287 million sale of Stonehenge Village and the roughly $116 million sale of 203 and 210-230 West 107th Street.

Despite the massive increase in dollar volume, transactions in Manhattan actually declined by 3 percent compared to the previous quarter, and building volume dropped by 11 percent.

The market was slower in Northern Manhattan, where building volume dropped 11 percent to 41 and dollar volume dropped 38 percent to about $383 million. Transaction volume held steady at 22.

Things were brighter on a year-over-year basis, as Northern Manhattan was the only sub-market to see percentage increases in the triple digits across all three metrics. The neighborhood’s largest sale was at 1680 Madison Avenue in East Harlem, which sold for $57 million.

Every metric was up in the Bronx compared to the prior quarter. The borough saw 31 transactions across 67 buildings for a total dollar volume of about $360 million, representing respective increases of 19, 86 and 25 percent. Building and dollar volume also rose by 49 and 11 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis, although transaction volume stayed flat. The borough’s largest deal was Related Companies’ $71 million sale of its Bronx portfolio, which was also the largest deal for all submarkets outside of Manhattan.

Brooklyn had the highest amount of transactions in any submarket with 45, the most it has seen in two years and a 73 percent increase over the prior quarter. Dollar volume was at about $626 million, a 147 percent increase from the prior quarter, while building volume was at 68 for an 84 percent increase. The priciest deal was at 670 Pacific Street in Prospect Heights, which sold for about $69 million.

The Queens submarket continued to be fairly quiet, seeing 14 transactions worth about $219 million across 21 properties. Transaction volume stayed flat, while dollar volume dropped by 24 percent and building volume dropped by 13 percent. The most notable sale was 94-25 56th Avenue, which went for about $57 million.