Just $374 billion of commercial real estate sold in the U.S. last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing data from MSCI Real Assets. That’s a 51% drop compared with 2022 and also 14% lower than in 2020, when prospective buyers couldn’t view buildings for most of the year because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Cuurent circumstances would seem to bode well for an uptick in transaction volume in 2024. Investors have raised $240 billion to pour into U.S. real estate, reported the WSJ, based on dry powder data from Preqin.
However, the bid/ask gap is still too wide for many would-be buyers, according to the WSJ. MSCI data show that pricing on average has declined by 11% since the early-2022 peak. “Some real estate has certainly become a lot cheaper, but only the riskiest type,” such as CBD office.
“The slump in deal activity has echoes of what happened during the financial crisis, when some of the most profitable property deals in modern history were struck,” the WSJ reported. “But it would take a much more troubled economy to throw up similar bargains in 2024.”
Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 16-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 7-10 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces.
Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications.
Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).