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Signs of Life in Commercial Property Sales

For several months now, the perception, at least, is that the frozen commercial property sales market is thawing. Now there is some basis for that notion grounded in reality.

Some $9.7 billion in properties valued over $5 million traded in June, according to New York-based researcher Real Capital Analytics. That’s the highest volume since September 2008.

So what’s happening exactly?

RCA notes that U.S. investors brushed off concerns about the sputtering economic recovery and its potential impact on the commercial real estate sector.

Certainly despite more recent fears of a “double dip” recession, sales velocity has increased of late, pushing total volume for the second quarter to $20.6 billion, up by 32% from the first quarter.

Sales in the first half of the year totaled $36.2 billion, which is an 11% improvement over the second half of 2009. It’s also a huge 67.1% gain over the first half of 2009. The gain is smaller when measured by the total number of transactions, up just 6% between the first half of last year and the first half of 2010, at a total of 1,790 properties. That means the average transaction size has increased.

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