NYC Multifamily building sales plummeted in 2019

Small and midsize portfolio deals almost halved as a new rent law passed

TRD New York /
Jan.January 15, 2020 09:00 AM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

A clear picture of the effect of rent law reforms on New York’s multifamily housing market has emerged, and it’s not looking good for small and midsize sales.

Last year, the number of New York multifamily building transactions valued between $7 million to $75 million dropped 45 percent, from 385 sales in 2018 to 212 sales in 2019, according to the Commercial Observer, citing data from Ackman Ziff.

The city’s landlords were dealt a blow last summer as a new rent law was ushered in by a progressive wave of Democratic state lawmakers in Albany. The legislation, passed in mid June, drastically limited landlords’ ability to raise rents and evict tenants, reducing the value of buildings with rent-stabilized apartments.

The uncertainty of what legislators would enact was followed by uncertainty about the new law’s effect, depressing sales of multifamily buildings last year.

The Ackman Ziff report follows a drumbeat of others pointing to declines in the sector. A PropertyShark study found that In the first 11 months of 2019, the city recorded $7.3 billion in multifamily transactions — $3.8 billion less than the same period in 2018. That’s a decline of 34 percent.

Ariel Property Advisors last year issued figures for the third quarter that represented declines of 47 percent year-over-year in Manhattan, 49 percent in Brooklyn, 61 percent in the Bronx, 53 percent in Queens and 77 percent in northern Manhattan.

Rent reforms aren’t the only battle building owners have lost. Last month, a judge overturned a decision to rezone Inwood for more development, after tenant advocates launched a longshot campaign. The ruling is being appealed by the de Blasio administration. [CO] — David Jeans 

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