Numbers from Real Capital Markets prove one thing: CRE had a boom year in 2016

Steve Shanahan

Steve Shanahan

by Dan Rafter

How strong a year was 2016 for commercial real estate? The numbers from Real Capital Markets, a global marketplace for buying and selling commercial real estate, say that last year was a record-breaker for the industry.

Real Capital Markets facilitated the disposition of 8,508 commercial properties, bank REO properties and loans in 2016. That is an all-time high for the marketplace.

The number of transactions closed through Real Capital Markets matters because it is the technology platform that most brokerage firms use. If Real Capital Markets reported a record year in 2016, that means that the commercial real estate industry in general enjoyed a boom year, too.

More than 50 percent of U.S. commercial assets sold are brought to the market through Real Capital Market’s online marketplace, according to data from the company.

“We continued to see an incredible appetite for commercial real estate investments, from foreign and domestic sources,” said Steve Shanahan, executive managing director of Real Capital Markets, in a written statement. “It was another record-breaking year.”

Of the more than 8,500 commercial property and loan dispositions facilitated by Real Capital Markets last year, 35.9 percent were multifamily assets, 19.5 percent commercial office buildings, 18.1 percent retail assets and 10.6 percent industrial assets.

“RCM’s Investor Sentiment Survey showed that investors are still aggressively looking for acquisitions and are intently focused on keeping the course with tried and true property sectors,” Shanahan said. “Many investors remain optimistic in spite of economic conditions, potential interest rate changes, as well as domestic and international events that could impact short-term activity.”

Completed in the fourth quarter, the RCM Investor Sentiment Survey found that the multifamily sector remains the commercial real estate investment of choice, favored by about half of the participants (49 percent). Industrial, retail and office assets were neck and neck for second place among the most appealing sectors with 34, 32 and 32 percent, respectively. Land and hospitality assets were listed as targets by 20 percent and 15 percent of principals, respectively.

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