First Comes Spring, Then First Quarter
By: Irina Faifman
“What a strange thing! To be alive beneath cherry blossoms.”
― Kobayashi Issa, Poems
Today, April 17 marks the 11-day
countdown to head down to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to see the cherry
blossom trees, but those who live in Manhattan may also enjoy the cherry
blossoms found in Central Park until they bloom on April 28. Today also marks the beginning of the Tribeca film
festival (see article below) and many New Yorkers are already snuggling into their
seats for an original experience.
The Real Estate first quarter results
are in and although the sales were not as high as projected within the New York
boroughs, there is the expectancy for investments to increase and for sales to
pick up by the next quarter.
The average price
for a condo in Manhattan is 1.82 million and this quarter, walk-up buildings
held the most transactions aside from office, hotel and development
investments. Office sales made up most of the first quarter sales, particularly
the sale of the Sony Building to Joseph Chetrit for $1.1 billion and the GE
Building to Comcast for $1.4 billion. As a result, office buildings accounted
for 67 percent of total sales revenue in Manhattan while hotel transactions
accounted for 11 percent and development sites accounted for 8 percent. For other
transactions, walk-up buildings held first place, then office buildings, then
multi-family buildings. Manhattan’s Upper East Side had the most apartments
sold: a whopping 751 were sold in this quarter, specifically in this area.
In Brooklyn, total sales volume
declined 35 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012, to $471 million.
Acquisitions of development sites, occurring primarily in North Brooklyn,
accounted for 22 percent of transaction volume, followed by acquisitions of
walk-up buildings at 18 percent and retail properties at 17 percent. Walk-ups
also made up the most trades, followed by mixed-use buildings and development
In Queens, total sales volume increased
2.5 percent from a year ago to $225 million, and the number of properties sold
rose 26 percent to 102. Industrial assets make up the largest share of
transactions by dollar volume at 28 percent, followed by walk-up buildings at
16 percent. Walk-up buildings experienced the highest number of trades followed
by mixed-use buildings.
In the Bronx, total sales volume
declined 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012, to $105 million. The
number of properties sold was also down this quarter.
It seems that investing in business
properties and walk-ups has paid off for many during this quarter and the amount
of vacant office space is 6.1 percent in office buildings, so it is no wonder
that there is so much heat for investors to own business properties. For
example in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, a self-storage
chain has bought this 15,500-square-foot one-story column-free 1940 warehouse,
formerly occupied by a sportswear and sweater distributor. The chain plans to
build a storage facility on the 214-by-100-foot site, which offers 37,000
buildable square feet. In Manhattan, a company
specializing in nonpermanent glitter tattoos for children has signed a
five-year lease for an 800-square-foot office on the fifth floor of this
10-story Gramercy Park building. The tattoo kits are sold online as well as to
salons and stores. Spring seems to carry with it a luck for businesses so as
the flowers are blooming, real estate investments help businesses continue
Chiongbian, Jennifer. Manhattan RealEstate Fun Facts 1st q. of 2013. (April
15, 2013). Manhattan RealEstate.
Retrieved from http://www.buyandsellmanhattan.com/real-estate-stories/manhattan-realestate-fun-facts-for-1st-q-of-2013/
April 17, 2013.
Radomsky, Rosalie. Transactions. New York Times. (April 16, 2013).
Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/realestate/commercial/transactions.html?adxnnl=1&ref=realestate&adxnnlx=1366212894-Wix3hi+3dk9kmrcRdrMuVw
April 17, 2012.