Commercial Real Estate Year in Review

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The 2011 commercial real estate market in Queens was overall… positive.  The major indicator of dollar volume is up 139 percent from 2010 with year end dollar volume reaching $1.3B.  It is important to note the sale of 2810 Queens Plaza skews the figures as this accounts for $415M of the dollar volume.  Excluding this sale, the Queens market would still show a hefty increase of 64 percent from 2010.  Every single property type has exceeded dollar volume totals from 2010 highlighted by Multifamily Elevator Apartment Buildings exceeding last year’s dollar volume total by an astounding 234 percent.  The lowest increase year over year was shown to be the office product type.  Massey Knakal’s price per square foot index is up roughly 5.4 percent in 2011 in comparison to 2010.

Industrial properties showed the largest increase on a price per square foot basis with a 14 percent increase over 2010.  This is a pricing trend which has blossomed over the past couple of years.  We have seen users of industrial properties increasingly being out-priced in areas closer to Manhattan, such as Long Island City and Astoria.  This is simply due to the highest and best pricing for many of these industrial properties are now development sites and developers paying much higher pricing than owner-users causing many users to head eastward in droves looking for more reasonable pricing for usable industrial buildings and land.  This was evident with a recent building I sold in College Point at 112-20 14th Avenue where the typical pricing for warehouse properties range around $100 per SF.  Due to the lack of true industrial property the price was driven up to $136 per SF from over 2 dozen offers and was eventually purchased by a user who was moved from their existing building in the western part of the borough so it could be developed.