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REALTOR® Commercial Sales Rise 11 Percent in Fourth Quarter

Mirroring broader trends, commercial transactions in REALTORS® markets registered a positive fourth quarter. On a year-over-year basis, sales increased 11 percent in the last quarter, as prices rose 4 percent. Cap rates continued compressing with a 50 basis point decline, from an average of 9.2 percent in the third quarter to 8.7 percent in the last. Multifamily properties recorded the lowest average cap rates, at 7.7 percent, followed by hotels, at 8.0 percent. Office and retail spaces posted cap rates of 8.6 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.

The average transaction price moved from $1.3 million to $1.2 million in the fourth quarter. In a noticeable change, commercial REALTORS® reported that the most significant concern was the pricing gap between buyers and sellers. The second major concern was lack of available inventory. After several years of topping the list of concerns, financing dropped to third place, signaling a shift in market conditions.

In keeping with the upward momentum in the markets, REALTORS® rated the direction of commercial business opportunities 5.0 percent higher compared with the third quarter.

For the full report along with respondent comments, please visit http://www.realtor.org/reports/commercial-real-estate-market-survey.

George Ratiu, Director, Quantitative and Commercial Research

George Ratiu, Research Economist, writes regular economic columns and conducts research in the areas of commercial real estate, international investments, mortgage performance and foreclosures. He produces NAR’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook and manages quantitative surveys, including the Commercial Real Estate Quarterly Market Survey.

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