NEW YORK—New York City multifamily transactions increased 21 percent and the number of buildings sold rose 26 percent in May 2013 compared to the previous month, according to Ariel Property Advisors’Multifamily Month in Review for May.

In May, the city saw 51 transactions comprised of 73 buildings totaling $379.676 million in gross consideration, compared to April 2013, which saw 42 transactions over 58 buildings valued at $638.913 million. Month-over-month dollar volume fell 40 percent, largely due to a single $400 million transaction that took place in April.

Transaction volume declined by 15 percent, building volume decreased by 4 percent, and the dollar volume of those trades fell 28 percent in May 2013 compared to May 2012, which had 60 transactions, 76 buildings traded, and $526 million in gross consideration.

“May’s increased transaction volume suggests that sellers are responding to the market’s higher prices,” said Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors. “Although product remains scarce, we continue to expect volume to increase over the balance of the year.”

The following is a breakdown of the May 2013 multifamily data by submarket:

  • Brooklyn was the most active submarket during the month in terms of transaction volume and dollar volume with 18 sales comprised of 27 buildings totaling $134.326 million in gross consideration. The transactions included a mix of residential properties and retail driven mixed-use buildings.
  • Manhattan followed Brooklyn in terms of dollar volume with $121.205 million in gross consideration. As no multifamily trade was higher than $25.5 million, the transactions were largely on the smaller end. However, pricing was strong with some properties trading well above $1,100 per square foot and others hovering between $500 to $800 per square foot.
  • The Bronx multifamily sales ticked up to eight transactions in May from six the previous month. The borough had a relatively strong month in terms of dollar volume with $58.876 million in sales, which is more than double both April 2013 and May 2012 levels.
  • Northern Manhattan had 13 transactions, a moderate improvement month-over-month and rela­tively steady year-over-year. At $57 million, dollar volume also was stable. Pricing for renovated mixed-use proper­ties was notably strong in some parts with prices at levels north of $350 per square foot.
  • Queens had three transactions consisting of three buildings, up from one transaction consisting of one building in April. Of the properties sold in May, all three were in Astoria, a neighborhood attracting great demand right now.

For the six months ended in May 2013, the average monthly transaction volume dropped to 55 transactions per month from 57 in April. The six-month average dollar volume also declined slightly to $655 million from $690 million.

More information is available from Mr. Shkury at 212-544-9500, ext. 11, or sshkury@arielpa.com. For a copy of the report, please see http://arielpa.com/newsroom/report-MFMIR-May-2013.

The Multifamily Month in Review: New York City tracks sales of multifamily buildings with a minimum sales price of $1 million, with a minimum gross area of 5,000 square feet, and with a minimum of 10 units.

Ariel Property Advisors is a New York City investment property sales firm with an expertise in the multifamily market. The firm also produces a number of research reports including the Multifamily Month in Review: New York City; Multifamily Quarter in Review: New York City; Multifamily Year in Review: New York City; Brooklyn Mid-Year and Year-End Sales Reports; Northern Manhattan Mid-Year and Year-End Sales Reports; and the Bronx Mid-Year and Year-End Sales Reports. More information is available at arielpa.com.