Gebroe-Hammer Associates, a Livingston-based investment brokerage firm, announced on Tuesday in the first quarter of 2020, it made $316.4 million in sales for a total of 1,574 units across New Jersey.
The firm said it orchestrated 18 deals on behalf of private owners, family offices, equity funds and institutional investors.
“The first quarter of the year marked a ‘carry-over’ of the same historic multifamily investment confidence that fueled one of the longest and most aggressive apartment-property investment cycles in history,” Ken Uranowitz, president, Gebroe-Hammer, said.
Arranged deals include a newly-constructed Class A apartment building in Woodbridge, where the price-per-unit was $280,000, and three unnamed single-property sales with 485 units for $127 million.
Multifamily’s new normal
“Now, as a society and as an industry, we find ourselves in unchartered waters due to the sudden and abrupt measures imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Uranowitz said. “While there are challenges that can only be fully addressed with the passage of time, health and well-being remain paramount. In this regard, multifamily properties play an integral role in providing tenants and communities with the most basic needs of shelter, a place to live and a place from which to telecommute for work or education.”
He noted that while its maybe too early to predict how and when the economy (including multifamily) will bounce back, the “fundamental function of apartments has always ensured — and will continue to — their longevity and status as the most reliable living option and most resilient commercial real estate asset type.”
Uranowitz said that area markets in New York and Philadelphia have historically been stable when compared to their major metro counterparts nationwide.
“Occupancy rates and asking/effective rents may waver, but they will eventually bounce back just as they did in the aftermath of the height of the Great Recession in early 2009 and every other downturn before that,” he said.
Despite the impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Uranowitz said Americans and the multifamily industry will benefit from a “time and patience heals all” approach.
“These economic shockwaves will ease and multifamily properties and the people who own, manage, invest and live in them will emerge even stronger,” he said. “This coronavirus may be novel, but the enduring strength of apartment properties is long established.”