Investment property sales in Queens rose to $3.65 billion in 2014, a 25 percent jump from the previous year, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Queens 2014 Year-End Sales Report. Year-over-year, transaction volume increased 29 percent to 706, and the number of investment properties traded rose 25 percent to 925.
Development site sales accounted for nearly third of the dollars spent on investment properties in Queens last year, as demand continued to accelerate for this asset class.
Queens saw over $1 billion in development site sales, a tremendous 48 percent gain in dollar volume compared to 2013, and a 191 percent increase compared to 2012.
“Queens still presents developers with the opportunity to produce large scale developments and they are willing to pay a premium for prime sites,” said Daniel Wechsler, vice president of Ariel Property Advisors.
“Land parcels with development rights over 50,000 buildable square feet were sold in Astoria, Long Island City, Elmhurst, Woodside, Glendale, Jamaica, Ridgewood and Flushing further indicating the bullish attitude of investors on the entire borough. “
Wechsler noted that while Queens development sites have typically been slated for rentals, a significant portion of new projects now coming online and in the pipeline are primarily slated for condominiums.
“This shift to condominiums is a clear nod to the success of the borough’s rental market and indicates the market’s improved perception of Queens as a choice residential destination,” Mr. Wechsler said. “A great example of this trend is the recent sale of 11-15 46th Avenue, a 150,000 buildable square foot site in Long Island City for $44 million, which translates to nearly $300 per buildable square foot.”
As the cost of office space rises in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, many companies also are looking to Long Island City’s excellent access to public transportation and accessibility to a large workforce in Queens.
The $110 million sale of the Standard Motor Building, which traded for $70 million in 2008, demonstrates this emerging trend and contributed to office sales rising to $269 million, a 216 percent year-over-year increase.
Investors continued to demand multifamily buildings in Queens in 2014 with multifamily transactions rising 44 percent to 338, the number of properties traded increasing 39 percent to 414, and total dollar volume of $1.276 million, a slight eight percent decline, compared to 2013.
The most significant transactions were the $216,000,000 portfolio sale of 53 buildings, consisting of 1,270 units in Kew Garden Hills, and the sale of a 144,000 square foot, 214-unit building in Astoria for $88,500,000, representing over $600 per square foot and $400,000 per unit.
The Queens 2014 Mid-Year Sales Report tracks all development, multifamily, industrial, and other commercial property sales over $850,000 and is available at http://arielpa.com/newsroom/report-APA-Queens-2014-Sales-Report.