Office sector escapes plummeting investment sales

Sales of commercial properties tumbled in August for all sectors except office, according to Real Capital Analytics. Office sales totaled $6 billion in August, just 3% less than a year ago. For the year, the office sector is 17% ahead of year-ago transaction volume.

Retail sales, by contrast, barely reached $2 billion, a 55% drop from a year ago and the lowest monthly volume in three years. Year-to-date, retail is down 25% from 2005 levels and is the only sector to fall behind last year’s volume on a year-to-date basis, according to Real Capital.

Industrial sales fell 45% in August to $2 billion and are 9% ahead of 2005 year to date. Apartments, with $4.6 billion in sales for the month, were 39% short of year-ago volume. Apartments remain ahead of last year—by 4%—on a year-to-date basis, but not for much longer.

“Last year, a record $13.6 billion of apartment sales closed in September,” Real Capital researchers noted in the September issue of the company’s Capital Trends Monthly report. “This September’s volume may be only half that.”

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