Monday, August 10, 2015

Firm sells 1,070 MF Units in Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin,
Philadelphia’s multifamily housing stock is performing at a year-over-year high for effective rents/low for vacancy rates while also recording strong absorption of new product metrowide, according to Gebroe-Hammer Associates. The firm has arranged sales of more than 1,070 units in the past six months, for sales totaling more than $97.63 million.

Investment appetite is skyrocketing in the city, according to Gebroe-Hammer senior vice president Eli Rosen.

“Philadelphia is a melting pot of property classes, ranging from newly constructed luxury hi-rise buildings to existing post-World War II mid-rise buildings that have been renovated through the years and are poised for repositioning,” says Rosen, who represents prominent investors and developers throughout the metro Philadelphia market and its outlying suburbs. “The city as a whole has experienced an annual increase in effective rents with record-breaking growth every quarter since the first quarter of 2010. Monthly effective rents are now at about four percent over last year alone, with some neighborhoods like Center City performing better than ever.”

The Center City submarket saw a year-over-year effective rent increase of 5.3 percent, Gebroe-Hammer says. Similarly, Northwest Philadelphia also has undergone a multi-family boom laying the groundwork for neighborhood gentrification, says Rosen. Recent multi-family transaction highlights include the $24.5 million sale of Chestnut Hill Tower. Rosen, along with managing director Joseph Brecher, recently represented the seller and buyer in the trade of the 240-unit modern high-rise tower located at 7600 Stenton Ave.

The property, which was acquired by the seller in 2012 for $17 million in a transaction also arranged by Gebroe-Hammer, was repositioned through capital improvements during the past three years. The 18-story property now features hardwood flooring, modern cabinetry and the addition of high-end finishes. It is close to the train, offering a direct link to downtown Philadelphia.

In addition to Chestnut Hill Tower, Rosen arranged the two separate sales of 64 units at Airy Avenue Apartments, a garden-apartment complex in East Mount Airy, and 40 units at Walnut Park Apartments in the West Mount Airy neighborhood.

“Renting remains the mass-majority preference of a tenant base that transcends three different generations – from millennials to retirees,” says Rosen. “Apartment living is no longer dictated by income. It is a choice driven by a desire to avoid mortgage payments and home maintenance costs while having immediate access to job opportunities, mass transit, dining, arts and culture.”

Gebroe-Hammer also has been active is the Temple University Hospital district, where Rosen has sold 102 units in the past six months. Additional transactions arranged by the Rosen/Brecher team include the sale of 181 total units in Northeast Philadelphia; the $20 million sale of several garden-apartment complexes in Montgomery County; and the trade of 120 units in Bucks County.

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