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Elena Ravich, Rakita Realty's Blog

By Elena Ravich, Manhattan Expert | Broker in 10019

First Comes Spring, Then First Quarter

By: Irina Faifman, Associate at Rakita Realty

“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 sites.

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 booming.

Chiongbian, Jennifer. Manhattan RealEstate Fun Facts 1st q. of 2013. (April 15, 2013). Manhattan RealEstate. Retrieved fromhttp://www.buyandsellmanhattan.com/real-estate-stories/manhattan-realestate-fun-facts-for-1st-q-of-2013/ April 17, 2013.

Misonzhik, Elaine. First Quarter Investment Sales Down in NYC, But Activity Expected to Pick Up. (April 16, 2013). National Real Estate Investor.Retrieved from http://nreionline.com/new-york/first-quarter-investment-sales-down-nyc-activity-expected-pick April 17, 2013.

Radomsky, Rosalie. Transactions. New York Times. (April 16, 2013). Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/realestate/commercial/transactions.html?adxnnl=1&ref=realestate&adxnnlx=1366212894-Wix3hi+3dk9kmrcRdrMuVwApril 17, 2012.

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