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CRE Sales Decline For The First Time In More Than A Year


For the first time in more than a year, commercial property sales volume declined, spurred to a double-digit drop in part by rising interest rates.

Commercial property sales dropped 16% nationwide in April compared with a year earlier, according to MSCI Real Assets data, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Property sales for the month totaled $39.4B.

The drop is the first year-over-year slip recorded by MSCI since January 2021. Beginning with the onset of the pandemic, most months in 2020 recorded sales drops compared with the same month in 2019, but 2021 reversed that pattern.

Office, industrial and senior housing assets led the April 2022 decline, though sales of retail and multifamily continued to rise. Those sectors will probably slow down as well in the coming months, considering that interest rates are on the rise, the WSJ noted.

The investment market in metro New York has seen investors pull back in the wake of interest rate hikes.

“I know of a couple of buildings that were pulled off the market,” Marcus & Millichap Senior Managing Director Eric Anton told Bisnow regarding investment deals in the city. “If buyers signed a contract a month ago, after 30 days of due diligence they’re coming back and saying, ‘I can’t do that.’”

Innovo Property Group’s attempt to buy HSBC Tower at 452 Fifth Ave. reportedly fell through because of interest rates, with the $855M deal falling apart when Innovo was unable to obtain financing.

In May, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, the most in about 20 years, in an attempt to put a lid on inflation. The central bank is expected to increase rates again later this month and in July, at the very least.

MSCI also reported that in April, annual price growth of U.S. commercial real estate slowed once again, with its National All-Property Index up 17.9% from a year ago. Though still showing robust price growth, the rate of increase is down for the third month in a row. In January, the index showed price growth of nearly 20% year-over-year.