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Have Weekly Sales Hit Bottom in the PNW? November 4, 2010

Posted by Erik Swanson in Articles, Blogs.
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A routine part of our business involves tracking the multi and single tenant retail investment sales that occur in the Puget Sound. We compile, research, validate and give brief summaries that are included in our monthly newsletter (past issues are found in “History” on the side bar of ReCapNW). One of the sources of this information is provided by our friends at Old Republic Title. It’s a useful report that details all commercial sales over $1 million in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

As you can imagine, the size of the report has shrunk in the slow down. Admittedly, it hasn’t taken much to keep track of closed deals- investment sales in particular. Still, the “typical” weekly report will list a handful of closed land, multi-family, retail and office building sales.  So we were surprised by last weeks report that included only two sales in the tri-county area! One was the Walgreens in Lake Stevens that we blogged about in our last post. The other was an apartment sale in Seattle. Anemic to say the least.

Increasingly however, the news is positive and data indicates the national market has brightened.  Just released today, The Costar Repeat-Sales Indices showed that investment grade real estate has both improved in price and transaction volume.  Also today, The Wall St. Journal article, “In Commercial Real Estate, Signs of Moderating Pain”, reported that the delinquency rate for securitized commercial real-estate loans fell in October for the first time in more than a year.

It’s hard to find a silver lining in the Old Republic report, but perhaps its one more indicator that our market has hit bottom and we’ll see improvement locally.

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