Multi-family sales drop to $1.1 billion in first quarter, due to fewer institutional deals

From left: Shimon Shkury and a multifamily building
From left: Shimon Shkury and a multifamily building

Multi-family property transactions accounted for $1.1 billion in New York City real estate sales in the first quarter of 2013, declining 41 percent year-over-year from $1.86 billion due to a lack of large institutional deals, according to a report released today by Ariel Property Advisors.

New York saw 120 transactions totaling 204 buildings in the first quarter, the report shows. The numbers represent a 10 percent decline in the number of sales and a four percent decline in the number of buildings sold compared to the first quarter of 2012, which saw 134 transactions in 212 buildings.

Compared to the last quarter of 2012, the first quarter figures indicate a 51 percent decrease in transaction volume, a 47 percent decrease in building volume, and a 62 percent decrease in dollar volume.

Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel, said that he didn’t consider the drop in the numbers a worrying sign for the market.

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“Given the unusual burst of year-end sales that accompanied an eventual rise in capital gains taxes, we do not consider the quarter-over-quarter decline to be a major indicator of the multi-family sector’s overall health,” he said. “In fact, current contracts support an uptick in institutional sales in the second and third quarters of 2013.”

With almost $521.91 million in sales for the quarter, Manhattan was the strongest borough in terms of dollar volume performance, but showed a steep decline from the same time last year, when sales were at $1.33 billion. The report attributed this to the same drop of institutional sales, and added that several other metrics indicated that multi-family values increased more than 20 percent year-over-year.

Brooklyn was the most active borough this quarter in terms of total transactions with 34 sales, though a large majority of these sales were deals under $10 million. —Hiten Samtani