If this time last year you wanted to know much a multifamily building cost in your neighborhood, you were, as they say, out of luck. That’s because this time last year, there were next to no building sales. And mid-turmoil Great Recession, with no points of comparison, or comparables, it was kind of impossible to name a price.
In August of last year, a prescient Peter Von Der Ahe, an investment sales broker at Marcus & Millichap, told The Observer, “The activity was so low the first half of the year, that even a slight increase is going to look like a lot more activity.”
And he was right! Mr. Von Der Ahe just issued his investment sales report covering the second half of 2009, and the market looks active. Comparatively speaking. “It was a lot more active,” he said. “That’s not to say it was active, but just compared to the first three quarters, it felt like a different year. Really, I just think it was just the beginning of people starting to come off the bench a little bit.”
Here’s how the second half of ’09 stacked up to the first half, by neighborhood (nota bene: Mr. Von Der Ahe’s stats refer to multifamily buildings of at least four units that sold for under $100 million):
Midtown East In the latter half of ’09, there were six multi-amily sales in midtown east, up from just four in the first half of the year. And, prices rallied, with sales averaging $592 a square foot, up from $420 in the first half of the year (but still way down from the average of $887 a square foot at the end of 2008).
Downtown Multifamily sales volume downtown was also on the disappointing side, with just 14 sales in the second half of 2009, compared to 18 in the first. Similarly disappointing, prices have yet to rally, with sales averaging $458 a square foot, compared to $628 in the first half of 2009. In the second half of 2008, they traded at $465 a square foot.
Harlem Sixteen multifamily apartment buildings sold in Harlem in the second half of 2009, double the eight of the first half of the year. They sold at an average of $159 a square foot, down slightly from the $169 of the six months prior, and down significantly from the $251 a square foot of 2008.
Washington Heights and Inwood Washington Heights and Inwood had 14 multifamily sales, a marked increase from the eight sales of the six months prior. The buildings traded at an average of $104 a square foot, down from the $127 a square foot of early ’09, and from the $167 of 2008.