Burlington Court Apartments, located at 870 East Route 130 North in Burlington City — Courtesy: Gebroe-Hammer Associates
By Joshua Burd
Gebroe-Hammer Associates closed 14 sales spanning more than 1,300 apartments in December, fueling what it says is a new year-end benchmark for the multifamily brokerage firm.
In a news release Monday, the firm said the transactions total more than $231 million in value. The 14 properties, which comprise 1,315 rentals, include seven assets in New Jersey and three in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Multifamily properties continue to be in extreme demand and deal velocity remains accelerative, setting the stage for a robust 2018,” said Ken Uranowitz, president of the Livingston-based firm, who has been the business since its inception in 1975. “Demand will be even greater in 2018 thanks to the new tax law, which lowers the deductibility of residential property taxes and mortgage interest.
“Current renters who were considering home purchases will remain in place and keep occupancy rates and rents at very healthy levels in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, however, this will create an even greater imbalance of the supply/demand dynamic in an already undersupplied marketplace.”
The firm’s recent New Jersey transactions involve seven small to midsized apartment buildings and garden-style complexes, spanning more than 300 units in Bergen, Essex, Union, Monmouth and Middlesex counties. Gebroe-Hammer also touted two sales encompassing more than 200 total units in southwestern New Jersey.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same in New Jersey,” Uranowitz said. “Institutional investors have made tremendous inroads with strategic acquisitions that have mostly focused on ‘trophy’ buildings while long-time, multi-generation private owners have held on to their Class B properties, making few, if any, modernization upgrades to retain historically stabilized occupancies and rents.”
“Both recognize that the tides have been gradually changing, with the latter entertaining the idea of shedding their long-held assets in lieu of implementing substantial capital improvements. As a result, there is a renewed emphasis on value-add acquisitions posing significant rent appreciation — some as high as $200 to $300 per unit, per month on turnovers — to yield a fairly rapid return-on-investment.”
Gebroe-Hammer in 2017 also closed four separate sales that each exceeded $100 million, including the sale of Cedar Wright Gardens in Lodi and Nob Hill Apartments in Roseland.