New York’s multifamily market got off to a slow start this year

Uncertainty surrounding rent laws likely playing a role
By Eddie Small | March 22, 2019 01:45PM

The city saw $695 million in multifamily sales across 26 transactions and 33 buildings in January. (Credit: iStock)

New York’s multifamily market kicked off 2019 slowly, seeing year-over-year declines in dollar volume, transaction volume and building volume.

Overall, the city saw $695 million in multifamily sales across 26 transactions and 33 buildings in January, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors. These were respective declines of 18 percent, 38 percent and 51 percent compared to January of last year.

Ariel partially attributed the slowdown to uncertainty over possible rent regulation reforms taking place at the state level. The firm predicted an uptick in the market when more clarity about the changes arrives in the coming months.

There were three institutional transactions for more than $75 million in January, and Manhattan dominated the city by dollar and building volume, comprising 61 percent of dollar volume and 33 percent of building volume. Brooklyn took second place in both categories at 22 percent of dollar volume and 30 percent of building volume.

Manhattan’s dollar volume was at $426.7 million across 10 deals and 11 buildings. These were respective decreases of 11 percent, 23 percent and 21 percent compared to last January. The largest deal was the $227.2 million sale of 200 West 72nd Street, a 199-unit mixed-use building. TIAA’s real estate investment arm sold the Upper West Side building to Centurion Property Investors.

In Northern Manhattan above 96 Street, there was just one multifamily deal in January: the $3.35 million sale of 26 Fort Charles Place in Marble Hill, a 19-unit building.

The Bronx saw seven multifamily sales in January across seven buildings for almost $58 million. This was an 18 percent increase in dollar volume and a 56 percent decrease in building volume, while transaction volume stayed flat. The largest deal was the $23.85 million sale of 201 East 146th Street, a 130-unit mixed-use building.

Brooklyn saw four sales across 10 buildings worth $152.4 million in January. The borough’s dollar volume rose by 27 percent, while the transaction volume dropped by 69 percent, and the building volume dropped by 58 percent. The largest sale was a five-building portfolio in Bay Ridge, Midwood and Gravesend that went for $95.7 million.

Queens had a typically slow month with four deals across four buildings for $54.6 million. Transaction volume stayed flat compared to last January, while building volume dropped by 50 percent, and dollar volume dropped by 21 percent.