Contact Us

Institutional Investors Are Trading CRE At 2007 Levels


The coronavirus pandemic isn't over yet, but its chilling effect on commercial real estate's capital markets sure is.

Commercial property sales worth over $25M in the first half of this year totaled $138B, the most money that has traded hands in that space in the first half of a year since the halcyon days of 2007, according to a new Real Estate Alert report from Green Street. That $138B number represents a 62% jump from the first half of 2020 and beats out 2019's first half by $3B.

Commercial sales between $5M and $25M also rose 60% from the first half of last year, totaling $28B in deals across over 2,700 transactions, Green Street reported — the first time Real Estate Alert has included data for transactions under $25M. Unsurprisingly, the frenzied pace of deal-making has driven up prices in nearly every sector of commercial real estate.

In the month of July, commercial real estate prices rose 1.2% from June and 11.8% year-over-year, according to Real Capital Analytics' monthly Commercial Property Price Indices report. Multifamily was the fastest-rising property type in RCA's data, growing 1.6% from June to July and 13.5% year-over-year, the fastest pace of annual growth since 2005 and 2006, RCA reports. 

The only property type not rising in price is office space in central business districts, which sank 0.1% from June and 4.6% from July 2020. For comparison, even retail prices rose 7.5% year-over-year. But office overall has been carried by the suburban market, which rose 11.7% year-over-year as investors are betting that a greater share of employees who have moved to the suburbs and are working from home will lead more companies to place offices closer to those homes.

One such investor is Oak Hill Advisors, which had previously only focused on credit investments. Oak Hill's first real estate play will be a $326.5M combination of debt and equity it is investing in Workspace Property Trust, a firm that exclusively owns suburban offices, The Wall Street Journal reports. Partly driven by the new capital, WPT plans to acquire $5B worth of properties in the next five years.