Sales Slowdown

By Georgiana Mihaila

Source: PropertyShark, a Yardi Systems Inc. company

Source: PropertyShark, a Yardi Systems Inc. company

2014 kicked off with a rather sluggish sales pace for the commercial real estate sector, with sales dropping by more than half compared to the first quarter of 2013. The overall sales volume for the first quarter accounted for slightly over $6.6 billion, com- pared to an impressive $16 billion recorded within the same timeframe last year.

While the numbers might seem gloomy, the slowdown can be partially credited to a limited number of transactions over $50 million. In the first quarter of 2013, there were 62 high-profile transactions above $50 million, whereas in the first quarter of 2014, only 18 such deals closed.

On the upside, the median sale price for commercial buildings surged 20 percent year-over-year—reaching $1.2 million. The overall number of transactions maintained a steady pace, with a total of 1,257 commercial deals closed in this year’s first quarter.

And the retail sector had particularly good news, with our data indicating interest in retail properties doubled over last year. The sector comprised 16 percent of overall sales volume, as retail sales continued a steady pace of quarterly growth, rising from $531 million in first quarter 2013 to just over $1 billion in first quarter 2014.

The majority of sales—64 percent—took place in Manhattan, with Brooklyn trades giving it the second spot, with 19 percent of all first quarter commercial real estate sales.

—Georgiana Mihaila is a communications specialist for PropertyShark.