The Real Deal New York

NYC I-sales hit nearly $50B in 2018, breaking 2-year slump

Value of property trades saw 35% increase from 2017: Cushman
By Rich Bockmann | January 16, 2019 03:30PM

Doug Harmon and Cushman and Wakefield’s offices at 1290 Sixth Avenue (Credit: Cushman and Wakefield and Wikipedia)

New York City’s investment-sales market broke its two-year slide in 2018, with deal volume growing by a third on the year to almost $50 billion.

The five boroughs recorded $49.1 billion worth of sales in 2018, according to figures from Cushman & Wakefield. That was a 34.5 percent jump over $36.5 billion worth of deals in 2017.

“The difference between 2017 and ’18 was the return of the big deals,” Doug Harmon, chair of Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets group, said during a year-end presentation at the brokerage’s Manhattan headquarters on Sixth Avenue Wednesday morning.

Harmon said there wasn’t much of an increase in the number of trades at $1 billion or more, but that the real growth last year was the number of deals between $250 million and $1 billion.

Last year saw 41 properties sell at $250 million or more, an 86 percent increase over 22 such deals in 2017.

‘It’s partly because we’re less reliant on foreign capital, partly because that’s the home for more domestic capital,” Harmon added. “What took the market down – volume-wise – between ’16 and ’17, took it back up in 2018.”

Last year was a turning point for the investment-sales market, which saw two consecutive years of a decline following a peak of more than $80 billion worth of deals in 2015. (The dollar volume of deals traded is still 39 percent below that number.

All told, 3,859 properties in the five boroughs traded hands last year, an increase of 4 percent over 2017.

In Manhattan alone, the number of properties sold rose 9 percent on the year to 727, with dollar volume climbing 44 percent to $32.3 billion.