Larger gateway markets continue to generate big sales volumes. The one market where there has been a notable drop-off is in New York City. Although Manhattan continued to see some mega deals during the first half, the $10.62 billion in total property sales is down 55 percent year-over-year. One notable big sale during the period was the $2.2 billion deal for 245 Park Avenue.
A factor that may be contributing to the slowdown is that there has been more foreign capital that has come into that market that prefers to buy and hold assets over the long term. So there are fewer buying opportunities, notes Coghlan.
The Dallas metro saw investment sales rise 21 percent during the first half of 2017, with $9.2 billion in property that traded hands. “Dallas and Atlanta are the two most active multifamily markets in the country right now and you will find that there is a fairly strong amount of activity happening in that sunbelt, southeast part of the country that is being driven by private equity and institutional investors,” says Coghlan. For example, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust purchased a six-property apartment portfolio valued at $430 million, with assets located in Dallas, Chicago and Orlando.
Sales held steady in Boston at $8.25 billion. One of the notable office transactions included the $528.8 billion sale of One Federal Street.
Atlanta held onto its number five spot again this year, with $7.13 billion in sales during the first half of the year, which represented an 18 percent year-over-year increase. Population growth and a more affordable cost of living are two of the factors attracting investors to southeastern U.S. markets such as Atlanta.
Chicago’s investment sales volume dropped by nearly one third during the first half of the year, with sales totaled $5.99 billion. The largest office property to sell was the 181 West Madison building for $355.0 million.
The Houston metro reported a hefty 33 percent jump in sales to $5.6 billion. “There are a lot of interesting things going on in Houston and there is interest from a lot of different investment groups,” says Fay. Earlier this year, Columbia Property Trust sold three Houston office properties for a combined $272 million.
First half sales declined 20 percent to reach $5.22 billion in Seattle. One major sale was the Midtown 21 office building, which sold for $330.2 million or about $885 per sq. ft.
2. San Francisco
With the average cost per workstation of $16,205, San Francisco took the second spot nationally and fifth globally.
Northern New Jersey
Investment sales remained relatively flat here, inching just 1 percent higher to $4.58 billion. One notable deal was the Hampshire Cos.’ $146.85 million sale of a six-building industrial portfolio totaling 1.2 million sq. ft.