Gebroe-Hammmer Completes $136M in Northern New Jersey Sales

In a testament to just how hot the northern New Jersey investment sales market is, Gebroe-Hammer Associates has closed 27 deals totaling 1,515 units in only two months.
Ken Uranowitz

Ken Uranowitz, President at Gebroe-Hammer Associates

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Writer

Livingston, NJ—In the New Jersey apartment investment market, sellers are motivated, buyers are eager, and the debt and equity markets are providing capital to grease the wheels of deals, Gebroe-Hammer Associates president Ken Uranowitz tells MHN. His company has been particularly active recently, brokering deals for 27 multifamily properties with 1,515 units for a total of about $136 million during October and November 2013 alone.

“The market has been on fire,” Uranowitz says. “And I see the same for 2014.” Sellers, he explains, realize that there is not a lot of product available. At the same time there’s significant pent-up demand for apartments, which is pushing valuations upward. That’s a formula for getting sellers off the bench and into the market.

It’s also true that much of the multifamily product in New Jersey is privately owned by individuals, families or small companies. “As the generations turn, some family members are pursuing careers other than landlord, so that’s motivating them to sell as well,” Uranowitz notes.  “In the past few months, we’re represented second- or third-generation owners who have decided that now is the time to sell. One deal involved a building that hadn’t been on the market since 1959, and another that was owned by the same family for 28 years.”

As for buyers, there’s been an outpouring of money, through both the debt and equity markets, looking for product in the state, he continues. “They like the stability of the asset class and the reliability of its income, as well as tax advantages of owning multifamily product.”

There’s also a lot of potential upside in value-add properties in New Jersey, Uranowitz adds.

“It’s very hard to find Class A product, and it’s very aggressively priced,” he says. “Class B and C, while not exactly plentiful, are easier to find, and offer rent growth for owners willing to invest in those properties.”

Among other NJ multifamily properties that Livingston, NJ-based Gebroe-Hammer has brokered in recent months are a 399-unit, six-building portfolio is Orange and East Orange that sold for $24 million, a 175-unit property in Mercer County that sold for $10 million, and a 27-unit property in Caldwell that sold for $4.3 million. The company also oversaw the sale of 57 units in a number of buildings in Union City for $5.2 million. Besides Uranowitz, the company’s Joseph Brecher, David Jarvis, Niko Nicolaou, and David Oropeza were involved in these deals.