US Capital Markets MarketBeat

David Bitner • 2/11/2020
2019 set a new record for investment sales volume as overall transaction activity accelerated modestly in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $152.2 B—up 2% quarter-over-quarter.

Single asset sales drove the increase, notably deals over $250 million, which rose 35% quarter-over-quarter and 30% year-over-year (YoY). For the calendar year, transaction activity totaled $540.6B—down 2% YoY. The decline in volumes was entirely attributable to a slowdown in entity/M&A deals, particularly compared to the extremely elevated levels recorded in 2018.

• Transaction activity accelerated significantly in tech-oriented markets in 2019, notably the San Francisco Bay Area (+17% YoY / +$5.6B), Seattle (+52% YoY / +$8.4B), Boston (+26% / +$4.1B) and Austin (+34% / +$2.6B)

• Industrial volume rose dramatically in 2019—up 17% YoY, accounting for a record 19% of transaction activity

• Institutional acquisitions reaccelerated for a second year—up 11% YoY to $141B, just shy of the cycle record set in
2015

• Cap rates were broadly stable in 2019 despite significant movement in interest rates. Industrial yields continued to
compress in 2019, particularly in secondary markets (down 37 BPS)

• The NCREIF National Property Index total return decelerated modestly to 6.4% in 2019. Industrial (13.4%) and suburban office (8.0%) continued to deliver the highest returns.


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2019 ended on a positive note with consumer spending rising at a healthy pace and retail sales up.
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