U.S. commercial real estate sales volume finishes 2012 on solid footing

The U.S. commercial real estate market finished in bull territory last year.While the single-family real estate industry saw significant improvements in 2012, the commercial real estate market was no slouch either, new data suggests.According to the CoStar Commercial Repeat-Sale Indices, sales volume totaled $64 billion in 2012, up 22 percent from the previous year and the largest value total reached since 2004. Additionally, December – which is traditionally a slow time of year for real estate transactions – witnessed a spike in activity as investors were eager to finalize deals prior to the new year.Also showing considerable improvement were commercial units experiencing foreclosure. Distressed sales comprised roughly 11 percent of sales transactions, the lowest level recorded since 2008, just prior to the height of the housing recession.The commercial Houston real estate market fared well in 2012 also. In late January, the Houston Association of Realtors pointed out that buying activity was heightened throughout the year, as the city boasts a mere 11 percent vacancy rate, down from 13 percent in 2011. More than two dozen building projects are underway to accommodate rising demand.
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