2015 Top Brokerage Firms

The last seven months in the brokerage sector were defined by M&A activity.

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Continuing Consolidation

By Mike Ratliff

Brokers-Chart-20151 2The last seven months in the brokerage sector were defined by M&A activity. Apartment heavy hitter ARA rolled into NGKF on Dec. 1, 2014. Meanwhile, an investment consortium bought DTZ and then folded in Cassidy Turley. Its sights then fell on Cushman & Wakefield—which had just acquired New York City specialist Massey Knakal in January—scooping it up in mid-May.

Among the major food groups, office had the biggest year on the investment sales market, with firms reporting $133.8 billion in such transactions. That’s about 36 percent of the total investment sales volume disclosed for 2014. Multi-family secured the second spot with about 20 percent of activity ($67.3 billion), followed by retail with 17 percent ($53.9 billion). A marked uptick was seen in the hospitality sector, which captured 12 percent ($42.3 billion) of the total investment sales volume. Last year, hospitality accounted for just 7 percent of activity.

These firms also detailed 2.7 billion square feet of leasing activity. We are happy to report that the total square footage leased increased by 8.2 percent from 2013 to 2014. From 2012 to 2013, this square foot value increased 8.4 percent, so perhaps a slowdown in growth is on the horizon.

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The CPE-MHN Index of the Top Brokerage Firms is based on information collected from a survey. No single factor determines the ranking. For this index, we examined how firms have performed over time, using factors like investment sales and leasing activity, as well as the range of sectors covered. All firms in our index are industry leaders in some sense. Some have a strong following in just one sector; others have demonstrated leadership in LEED buildings and services.