City property sales to set record with $70B in deals in 2015

Nine separate billion-dollar transactions drove market in record year

CRE NYC 2015
From left: the Helmsley Building, the Waldorf Astoria and 11 Madison Avenue

With an astonishing $70 billion in property sales slated for completion by the end of this year, 2015 is shaping up to be an all-time, historic year for the city’s commercial real estate market.

Brokerages Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE pegged that dollar volume on the sale of office buildings, hotels multifamily properties and other commercial real estate in New York City that changed hands in 2015.

The $70 billion figure would represent a 12.5 increase from the city’s previous record dollar volume in 2007, according to Crain’s, with the big deals driving those numbers including SL Green Realty’s $2.6 billion acquisition of 11 Madison Avenue, Norwegian bank Norges’ $1.6 billion purchase of a stake in Trinity Church’s Downtown office portfolio and French insurer AXA’s sale of two Midtown office towers, 1285 Sixth Avenue and 787 Seventh Avenue, for more than $3.5 billion.

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The most expensive hotel deal ever – Chinese insurer Anbang’s $2 billion acquisition of the Waldorf Astoria — was also completed this year. Altogether, Cushman predicts that nine separate billion-dollar deals will close in 2015, nearly double the five such transactions done last year.

For comparison, there were only four commercial real estate deals in the city valued at more than $1 billion in 2013, and none in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Google’s purchase of its New York City headquarters at 111 Eighth Avenue was the only billon-dollar transaction of 2010.

Activity is not expected to be as strong in 2016, however, with the pace of sales having decelerated as 2015 progressed, according to Cushman chair of investment sales Bob Knakal. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi