The Real Deal New York

Sales volume in Northern Manhattan hit
7-year low in 2018

Dollar volume, on the other hand, increased by 8% to hit about $2B
By Eddie Small | February 08, 2019 07:00AM

From left: Irving Langer, 120 West 112th Street, 2484 Seventh Avenue, and 204 West 133rd Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Dollar volume was up, but sales volume hit a seven-year low in Northern Manhattan’s investment sales market last year, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors.

The section of Manhattan above 96th Street on the east side and 110th Street on the west side saw $2.06 billion worth of sales across 223 deals and 379 buildings. This was an 8 percent increase in dollar volume and a 21 percent increase in building volume compared to 2017, but it was a 14 percent decrease in transaction volume, which fell to a seven-year low.

Multifamily properties saw the most deals out of any sector but still dropped by 2 percent to hit 115. The category also had the most total dollar volume at $1.4 billion and the most total sales volume at 235, representing respective increases of 3 percent and 46 percent.

Notable deals included E&M Associates’ Harlem multifamily portfolio, which the firm sold to Sugar Hill Capital Partners for $270 million, and E&M’s Adam Clayton Powell portfolio, which the company sold to Black Spruce Management for $76 million.

The development market saw similar trends. Transaction volume hit a seven-year low, falling 34 percent to hit 23 sales, while dollar volume rose 7 percent to hit $235.8 million.

Dollar volume skyrocketed by 192 percent in the commercial sector to $101.14 million thanks to notable transactions like the $19.5 million sale of Carver Federal Savings Bank at 75 West 125th Street.

Central Harlem was Northern Manhattan’s most active neighborhood by dollar and transaction volume, capturing 40 percent of the area’s dollar volume and 38 percent of its transaction volume.

The market in Northern Manhattan could see positive and negative factors at play in 2019, according to the report. The expiration of the city’s current rent regulation laws in June could be a potential headwind, while the Opportunity Zone program and rezonings in East Harlem and Inwood could be a boon for the area.

In general, the story of Northern Manhattan last year was one of investors getting increasingly selective in their purchases.

“It is apparent that developers are choosing quality over quantity when it comes to new opportunities,” Ariel director Marko Agbaba said.