Two main factors, the ongoing decline in distressed sales activity and the recovery in pricing of retail and multifamily sales -- drove the 0.9% increase for the quarter and the modest 0.4% bump, according to the latest release of the CoStar Commercial Repeat Sale Index (CCRSI).
CoStar counted 825 sales pairs for September, 682 general property purchases and 143 investment grade deals, in slightly lower transaction activity from the previous month. By comparison, only 385 transactions were recorded in January 2009, the bottom of the last downturn, and the September figure is within the historical range of the real estate boom period from 2004 to 2008.
Total deal dollar volume declined slightly in September by 1.2% from its six-month average, chiefly reflected in the general property index, which fell 5.9%, while investment grade volume remained at about par with its six-month average.
Distress sales accounted for 25% of repeat-sale transactions in September and have declined steadily as a percentage of total sales from a peak of 35.4% in March 2011. While distress sales have drifted down over the past six months, the overall level remains high, suggesting that distress continues to be a significant factor in CRE pricing.