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California Hotels Saw ‘Unprecedented Sales Volume’ In 2021

Downtown Los Angeles

As the hospitality industry continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, California hotels set new investment records in 2021. 

A 2021 year-end report from hotel brokerage Atlas Hospitality Group found individual hotel sales in the state surged 71% over the previous year to a record 510 transactions. Dollar volume for hotels also hit a record $9.9B, and a record number of hotels sold for more than $1M per room. 

“The combination of low interest rates and the tremendous amount of investment capital resulted in unprecedented sales volume,” Atlas Hospitality Group President Alan Reay wrote in the report. “Based on the interest we are seeing very early in 2022 from buyers, it appears that there is no letup in the demand or appetite for California hotels.”

LA County was the leader in the state for both number of hotels sold and total dollar volume, with 77 hotels selling for a total volume of approximately $1.9B. 

Of the major counties tracked by Atlas, only San Francisco saw a decrease in individual sales, with six hotels trading last year, down 33% from 2020. Dollar volume, however, nearly doubled, with the average price per room increasing nearly 70%. 

The state’s most expensive sale on a per-room basis was the 59-room Allia Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, which sold twice in 2021, both times at more than $2.5M per key. 

Nationally, hotel sales volume totaled more than $38B in 2021, a 395% increase over 2020’s numbers, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing JLL data.

Confidence in the appetite for hotels is in part why entertainment company AEG put a part-ownership stake at LA Live — including the J.W. Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton — on the market in late January.

AEG is planning to use sale proceeds to help finance an expansion of the properties that would add a high-rise, 800-room hotel just north of the property with the existing hotels. 

“We are seeing incredible demand for luxury hotels both domestically and globally as they outperformed during the pandemic,” JLL Hotels & Hospitality Global CEO Gilda Perez-Alvarado said in a statement at the time.