The Residences at North Village in Sparta, which sold for $14.65 million during the second quarter, is one of 54 deals arranged by Gebroe-Hammer Associates in 2021.
By Joshua Burd
Investor demand for New Jersey apartments has only intensified, fueling nearly $1 billion in multifamily sales by Gebroe-Hammer Associates in the first half of 2021.
The brokerage firm, which is based in Livingston, said it completed 54 deals involving 6,052 units during the first two quarters of the year, citing the sector’s predictable revenue stream and reinforced pricing. That contributed to some $917 million in total sales volume as of midyear, as the company doubled its activity from the first six months of 2020.
“As expected, multifamily investment volume and demand has more than just ‘picked up,’ ” Gebroe-Hammer President Ken Uranowitz said. “(It) has skyrocketed thanks to positive performance metrics, the proverbial light at the end of the pandemic tunnel getting brighter, strong gains in effective rents and a continued low-interest rate environment, which should extend well into the foreseeable future.
“While a number of notable economists projected a (25 to 33 percent) increase in multifamily sales over last year, Gebroe-Hammer’s market specialists have shattered this benchmark and are reporting a robust pipeline of exclusive and rare-to-market listings that will extend this streak through year end.”
The firm’s activity has included deals across the state, from the recent sale of a 113-unit portfolio in East Orange for nearly $15 million to the $14.65 million trade of a newly built, 60-unit property in Sparta. Overall, Gebroe-Hammer said vaccine rollouts, a lack of single-family home supply and affordability and accommodative monetary policy by the Federal Reserve have only accelerated the multifamily recovery.
“Considered an edge-city market, the Garden State offers plenty of big-city urban-living options in the form of suburban transit-village settings,” Executive Managing Director David Oropeza said. “Suburbs offer rent savings, more living space, top-ranked walkable neighborhoods, proximity to central business districts and — perhaps the most-important lifestyle amenity — access to outdoor spaces for gatherings and recreation.”
As another driver, the team pointed to the wave of new renters in their mid-20s who have moved out of their parents’ homes after telecommuting over the past 12 to 14 months. Other age groups, including older millennials, have also remained active members of the renter pool.
“The tenant pipeline is extremely healthy, extending across two highly educated cohorts with existing or immediate-future upper-income earning potential,” said Joseph Brecher, an executive managing director with the firm. “Consequently, there is tremendous investor interest in Class A new-construction product as well as older existing properties that have been recently renovated with — or have the potential to benefit from implementation of — at-market features, especially in kitchens and baths and other in-demand amenities.”
Uranowitz added: “The psychological effect of getting vaccinated, returning to the office, dining in restaurants and a more normal way of life in general is boosting the desire to get back to doing business as usual — albeit, at a much more accelerative pace for no other reason than to catch up from last year’s economic and physical shutdown.”