The number of multi-family townhouses sold in Manhattan fell slightly in the third quarter, according to a report from commercial brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap. There were 84 sales in the borough versus 87 in the year-ago period. This report was provided to The Real Deal, a publication covering New York real estate.

There were pockets of strength. The Harlem neighborhood saw the number of units sold more than double to 25, from 12. Meanwhile, the Washington Heights and Upper East Side neighborhoods had 11 and 10 multi-family sales in the third quarter, respectively.

Investors should be aware of other tidbits about the sales in Harlem. It is noteworthy that 5 units out of the 25 were part of a portfolio, and 3 were distressed. The fourth largest purchase overall, at $23 million, was at 3658-3666 Broadway.

Turning to the average price per square foot (PPSF), above 96th street, it was $209, lower than the $225 that was fetched last quarter. Below 96th street, the average PPSF also declined from the second quarter. It was $729, down from $917 from the prior quarter, but up from $729 in the year-ago period.

In terms of the overall price tag, there were three properties ahead of the aforementioned one in Harlem. The Upper West Side property at 5 West 91st Street received $27.5 million, followed by $26 million garnered for the multi-family unit at 34-64 Hillside Avenue in the Washington Heights neighborhood. Rounding it out, the third highest price was the $23.3 million for 135-143 Haven Avenue, also located in Washington Heights.

Downtown, the highest multi-family sale price was at 70-72 Franklin Street. The nine-unit, mixed-use building in Tribeca received $21.5 million. A vacant, three-unit building at 193 Spring Street, sold for $7.2 million, or $1,958 per square foot.

Going forward, there could be an increase in the number of sales over $20 million. There were 10 sales over that threshold this quarter, down from 12 in the prior period. But, Peter Von Der Ahe, Vice President of Investments at Marcus & Millichap, told The Real Deal the number is expected to increase at least 35% over the third quarter’s tally based on the number of contracts his firm has seen.

The Real Deal quoted Von Der Ahe as saying there are other factors besides interest rates that are influencing cap rates. There was concern that higher interest rates could lower cap rates and weaken returns.

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