No end in sight: New York’s multifamily market stayed slow in April

Market saw 28 deals across 35 buildings for $636M that month
By Eddie Small | June 26, 2019 07:00AM

From left: 165 East 66th Street, 110 Bennett Avenue, and 2001-2045 Story Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: CityRealty)

From left: 165 East 66th Street, 110 Bennett Avenue, and 2001-2045 Story Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: CityRealty)

New York’s slow multifamily market has continued into the spring, according to Ariel Property Advisors.

The market saw a total of 28 deals across 35 buildings worth $636 million in April. This was a 6 percent drop in transaction volume, a 42 percent drop in building volume and a 34 percent drop in dollar volume compared to the trailing six-month averages from October to March.

In Manhattan, there were nine deals across 11 buildings worth about $284 million. Transaction volume stayed flat, while building volume dropped by 25 percent, and dollar volume dropped by 33 percent. The largest deal of the month was the $200 million sale of the residential condo portion of 165 East 66th Street from Crescent Heights to CIM Group (Crescent Heights still owns the retail condo on the ground floor).

Things were comparatively better in Northern Manhattan, where the market saw five deals across 10 buildings worth about $122 million. This marked a 44 percent decrease in building volume but a 20 percent increase in deal volume and a 3 percent increase in dollar volume. The largest deal was the $41.7 million sale of two elevator properties at 725 West 184th Street and 110 Bennett Avenue.

In the Bronx, there were seven deals across seven buildings for about $112 million. Transaction volume went up by 20 percent; dollar volume went up by 62 percent; and building volume dropped by 31 percent. The largest deal was Abraham Fruchthandler’s FBE Limited buying the 355-unit building at 2001-2045 Story Avenue from the Related Companies for $87.9 million.

The market in Brooklyn saw declines across the board with just four trades across four buildings for about $91.9 million. These were drops of 38 percent, 64 percent and 49 percent for transaction, building and dollar volume, respectively. The largest deal was the $41.25 million sale of 151 Kent Avenue from Zelda Mehl to DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. According to marketing materials, the building has 46 stabilized units across three stories.

Queens only saw three deals across three buildings in April for about $26.1 million. This marked a 25 percent decline in transaction volume, a 49 percent decline in building volume and an 85 percent decline in dollar volume. The biggest sale was 87-40 165th Street in Jamaica Hills that went from Harry Silverstein to Fordham Fulton Realty for $15.75 million.

The real estate community has placed almost universal blame for New York’s slow family market on the Democrats taking full control of the state government following November’s elections. Activity had been slow throughout the year largely due to uncertainty over how the party would change rent laws in New York.

The government officially passed dramatic changes to the rent laws in mid-June, and brokers say it could take a while before the multifamily market picks up speed again given how pro-tenant many of the new laws are.