Manhattan’s tumbling investment-sales market appears to be turning a corner. And all it took was a drop in pricing.
The borough is on track to record $20.7 billion worth of trades south of 96th Street by the end of the year, according to Avison Young. That would be the first increase in two years, since dollar volume’s plunged from the record high of $55 billion in 2015.
“When you annualize the first half of 2018, we are looking at an uptick in total dollar volume of 13 percent over last year,” said Avison Young’s James Nelson, who left Cushman & Wakefield in January to build up the investment-sales team at Avison.
Despite the rosy projections, the activity is down so far this year in most major property classes. Multifamily properties and development sites are expected to fall below 2017’s totals in terms of number of transactions and total dollar volume.
Fewer office buildings are expected to trade than they did last year, but if the first half’s numbers are annualized, dollar volume will be up by the end of the year.
Retail is the one category where both the number of trades and dollar volume are expected to be up year-over-year.
Prices for retail properties have fallen 20 percent over the past year to $2,089 per square foot. This, Nelson said, has brought buyers and sellers back to the table, with transaction volume projected to be up 55 percent by the end of the year to $1.64 billion.
“As a result with this decrease in pricing, we’ve seen a big pickup in activity,” he said.