NYC Commercial-Property Sales to Rise in ’12, Massey Knakal Says

Sales of commercial properties in New York City are likely to be “way up” this year from 2011’s $25.6 billion, as the market rebounds from the financial crisis, executives from Massey Knakal Realty Services said.

The brokerage, which specializes in New York-area investment transactions, projected a 60 percent to 75 percent increase in sales volume to $41 billion to $45 billion. The seven-year average is $30 billion, the Manhattan-based firm said in a report released today.

“We expect volume to be way up in 2012” because of a “regression to long-term trends” and a potential increase in capital-gains taxes next year, Chairman Robert Knakal said at a briefing.

Developers anticipating better times ahead have been driving up values of construction sites, looking beyond such potential obstacles as an interest-rate increase and reduced lending stemming from Europe’s debt crisis, said Paul Massey, the firm’s chief executive officer. Sales slowed in the second half as bidders failed to match seller expectations after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating and the threat of default by Greece and other European nations grew.

Deals in the fourth quarter totaled $6 billion, down from $7.1 billion in the previous three months and $8.5 billion in the second quarter, the highest quarterly total since 2008, Knakal said.

The firm is advising clients to consider selling to avoid possibly higher capital-gains taxes in 2013, Knakal said. With President Barack Obama, who favors increasing the levies, leading in polls, sellers may want to act quickly because it takes several months to market a property and complete a deal, he said.