By Joshua Burd
Investment sales in a five-county swath of New Jersey rebounded in the first half of 2021, thanks to major deals in the industrial and office sectors and incremental growth in retail transactions.
Those are among the findings of a report by NAI DiLeo-Bram & Co., which identified 82 trades in Morris, Essex, Union, Somerset and Middlesex counties. The activity among industrial, office and retail assets in the region translated to $1.7 billion in sales, representing a 36 percent jump from the same period last year and the second-highest volume for a first half in five years.
The firm noted that the number of total trades is below the five-year average but resembles pre-pandemic levels.
“Investors continue to prefer core and core-plus properties,” said David A. Simon, NAI DiLeo-Bram’s chief operating officer. “Users are willing, in many cases, to pay premiums of (10 to 20 percent) for properties that are move-in ready. Given current market conditions overall activity levels will likely increase during the second half of the year.”
The report tracked 34 industrial trades in the five counties, accounting for $536.5 million in total sales volume. The largest among them was Brookfield Asset Management’s $182 million purchase of 80 North Main St., a 510,000-square-foot property in Wharton, from JFR Global Inc. and Lincoln Equities Group.
The firm also highlighted Oak Street Real Estate Capital’s sale of 650 Liberty Ave., a 340,000-square-foot asset in Union, to Ares Management for $47.2 million.
In the office sector, investors in the region completed 29 trades for a combined $993 million in sales volume, NAI DiLeo-Bram said. Leading the way was Vision Real Estate Partners and Rubenstein Partners LP’s sale of 100 and 200 Warren Corporate Center Drive, a two-building, 316,000-square-foot portfolio in Warren, to Mirabaud Group and Exan Capital for $150 million.
The report, meantime, tracked 19 retail trades in the five counties with a combined value of $126.3 million. The sector has outperformed last year’s first half by 30 percent, the firm found, but recorded a sales volume that is 38 percent below its five-year average.
Deals included Urban Edge Properties’ $16.55 million sale of 280 Route 10, a 23,985-square-foot property in East Hanover, to Agree Realty Corp.
“Retail properties are trading well below the five-year average,” Simon said. “While a slight uptick can be expected as a result of re-openings, this sector is facing significant downward pressure from changing consumer expectations.”