NYC multifamily deal volume hit a 5-year low in 2016

In Queens, sales jumped 60% to $1.6B

The number of multifamily transactions in New York City reached a five-year low in 2016, while prices increased significantly in the outer boroughs, according to the new year-end report from Ariel Property Advisors. Queens in particular outdid its 2015 metrics in both dollar volume and price appreciation, breaking $1.5 billion in dollar volume and hitting 15 percent growth in price. 

Overall, there were 656 multifamily transactions in 2016, with 1,120 buildings trading hands for a total of $14 billion. Transaction and building volume were down 18 and 21 percent respectively compared to 2015. While dollar volume was down 26 percent, it registers a 4 percent gain when Blackstone Group [TRDataCustom] and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s $5.3 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, is omitted from the 2015 total.

Manhattan’s multifamily market was sluggish this year. Transaction and building volume dropped 18 and 30 percent respectively, for a total of 224 buildings traded in 146 transactions. The year’s biggest transaction was Blackstone’s purchase of the roughly 900-unit Kips Bay Court at 520 Second Avenue for $620 million.

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In Northern Manhattan, the market was the opposite of sluggish. Dollar volume surged 55 percent to $2.72 billion and 241 buildings traded in 105 transactions. Institutional-level transactions dominated, with six transactions over $100 million accounting for $1.27 billion. The area’s top transaction was Isaac Kassirer’s purchase of a 47-building East Harlem portfolio for $357.5 million.

Brooklyn’s multifamily activity also fell far below 2015 metrics, with dollar volume dropping 28 percent to $2.64 billion, transaction volume sliding 22 percent to 186, and building volume sinking 33 percent to 287. Pricing continued its upward trajectory, with overall growth at 9 percent, and 15 percent increases in price per square foot and price per unit. Williamsburg led in dollar volume with $566 million in sales, followed by $388 million in Crown Heights. Crown Heights also saw a 20 percent increase in price per square foot, followed by 14 percent in Flatbush.

In the Bronx, there were 145 transactions totaling $1.4 billion, a 17 percent decrease compared to 2015. Pricing however, rose 13 percent. Only one sale came in above $100 million and only three above $50 million.

Queens saw the biggest leap in both pricing and dollar volume, with the latter skyrocketing 59 percent to $1.6 billion. Prices were up 15 percent overall, and price per square foot leapt 23 percent to $346 per square foot. Transaction volume, at 74, was the lowest of the boroughs, but in line with the 75 transactions in 2015. Elmhurst and Sunnyside led with $225 million and $209 million in sales respectively.