Through the first nine months of the year, The Bronx real estate market has seen the number of transactions and total principal value cut by more than half. The slowdown is consistent across asset classes, with few exceptions and plenty of reasons. Valuations have yet to reflect the historic downturn with the lower equilibrium of transactions closing near recent records. In this thinner market for New York City’s lowest valued borough, we have fine tuned our benchmarks with a few adjustments in either direction.
The persistent shortage of New York City workforce housing was the driving factor in the top 10 second quarter Bronx real estate deals. Marquee transactions in the multifamily and development sectors dominate the list with industrial and retail assets rounding out the group after dominating prior quarters. Fully permitted deals developed up to groundbreaking changed ownership at rarified prices for Bronx dirt, while occupied apartments changed ownership at new cycle discounts. Transaction volumes are down by half or worse and values are beginning to reflect a more challenging Bronx real estate market.
The number of Bronx real estate transactions thus far in 2023 is only a third of last year’s. The dramatic slowdown has not been fully reflected in valuations that cling to recent records. The darkest clouds looming over apartment valuations are clearing favorably as demand for other asset classes has been enough to satisfy lower supply. Troubled regional banks and moderating inflation could signal the top of the interest rate cycle which would remove another cloud from The Bronx real estate market. 13 metrics remain unchanged after our benchmark review which resulted in 4 increases and 9 reductions.
The combined value of the top 10 first quarter Bronx real estate deals fell by 8.4% from 2022, which understates the 55% decline in total transaction values. Deal volume dropped by around half across all asset classes compared to last year’s first quarter, except for the Office category which was skewed by the second place portfolio below. Our small apartment metrics are running around a third of last year’s pace and the hot Industrial sector has cooled similarly. As regulatory and monetary conditions tighten, the sellers of the following ten deals must feel relieved to lighten their risk load.
Tighter monetary policy and the stagnant economy have dealt severe headwinds to national real estate but The Bronx has fared better than most markets in recent months. The BuyTheBronx.com valuation benchmarks have been updated to reflect the current market of sale and lease transactions in the context of longer trends. The strong have held onto record values, as weaker sectors bear the brunt of macro pressures. The improving benchmarks outnumber those we cut, but even more remain unchanged at this time.
The good times kept rolling in The Bronx real estate market during the fourth quarter of 2022. Industrial and multifamily assets were most common among the quarter’s top deals at valuations in line with recent records. The development window has yet to close with some deals registering surprising prices for Bronx dirt. The top ten deals also reflect unique attributes of The Bronx real estate market where social welfare and affordable housing projects have yet to feel the pressures affecting other economic sectors.
All but one of the third quarter’s top ten Bronx real estate transactions traded above $10 million. Retail, Industrial and specialty assets continued to support record values while commercial apartment metrics were under pressure. Five of the top ten are near the 2 and 5 subway line serving both the east and west sides of Manhattan. This spine of The Bronx enjoys widespread demand from developers, retailers, and apartment hunters.