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Development Sites Are Dropping In Price As Sales Remain Slow

85 Jay St. in Brooklyn, one of the biggest development site sales in New York in 2016.

Sale prices of development sites in New York have dropped steeply in 2017, according to a new study from Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group.

In 2016, the average sale price across the city for a development site was $404/buildable SF. Halfway through 2017, the average price is down to $314/buildable SF, with Manhattan still the most expensive borough at $429 and the Bronx by far the cheapest at $64, according to the study as reported by The Real Deal.

So far, the drop in site price has not translated to a hotter market. Various estimates have pegged total transaction volume in the city this year through the month of June between $350M and $370M. That comes after a 2016 with $2.6B in total sales, which was a 57% decrease in volume from 2015. 

Although the decline has been precipitous, much of that was in a period without the benefits of the 421-a tax abatement, which was brought back in April. Suspicions the market could be nearing the bottom, along with the renewed tax benefit, give some hope the year could finish strong.

“There’s been market capitulation and there’s finally some breathing room for developers to focus on deals that make sense in the market,” Ackman-Ziff Managing Director Jason Meister told TRD.