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LIVINGSTON, NJ-Multifamily properties continue to trade in North Jersey’s counties, as evidenced by a half-dozen sales in recent days in Essex, Union and Hudson. The common link in this particular succession of transactions is that they were orchestrated by brokers from Gebroe-Hammer Associates, based here. The aggregate value was $26.8 million, and the transactions involved 422 units in Newark, East Orange, Irvington, Rahway, Plainfield and Union City.

“Each of these counties serves as an extension of Manhattan, where New Jersey commuters set their place of residence to get more space for less rent compared to across the Hudson River,” says Ken Uranowitz, the firm’s managing director. “As a result, vacancy rates are low and investors are aggressively pursuing multifamily investments in both the cities and suburbs.”

All of the properties traded between local investor groups, and the deals were highlighted by the $14-million sale of a Newark portfolio of eight buildings and 256 units–$55,000 per unit–on Martin Luther King Blvd. Next was the $8.1-million sale of Netherwood, a 108-unit complex–$75,000 per unit–at 825 E. Front St. in Plainfield. Brokers were Gebroe-Hammer EVP David Oropeza and SVP David Jarvis in Newark, and assistant VP Steven Tenenbaum and SVP Joseph Brecher in Plainfield.

Tenenbaum and VP Avi Oren brokered the $1.7-million sale of 132-134 Elm St., a 16-unit property in Rahway, $106,000 per unit, while Oropeza represented the buyer and seller in the $1.1 million sale of 116 Lenox Ave. in East Orange. Jarvis and sales associate Elliot Schechter closed the $725,000 sale of 37 40th St. in Irvington, a fully occupied 11-unit garden complex. And in Hudson County’s Union City, Gebroe-Hammer negotiated the sale of a 14-unit building for $1.3 million.

“Properties like these, in good-to-excellent condition and fully occupied, or have very few vacancies, are in short supply,” Uranowitz says. “There is growing demand among investors who value the ability to control the appreciation of their asset through capital improvements and adding some amenities.

“Multifamily product supports the urban employment centers of Essex, Union and Hudson counties, and the area is great for Manhattan-bound commuters,” he says. “For this reason and the fact that this particular asset class continues to be the most stable in an uncertain economic environment, the multifamily housing market will remain strong through the rest of the year.”

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