From a sales standpoint how well did we do in for the 1st quarter of 2012 compared to previous years? Shown below are the criteria we used to tabulate the results:

  • Sales information is from the CoStar database as of March 31st. My guess is that it will take a few more weeks before CoStar has all the 1st quarter sales activity recorded but this is what they’ve recorded so far.
  • Transactions closed between January 1st and March 31st, 2012
  • Investment properties only (no owner user)
  • Property types – flex, industrial, mixed use, multifamily, office & retail
  • Transactions with sales prices of $1 million or larger
  • Arms length transactions (no partial conveyance of ownership)
  • Transactions located between Kelso, WA and Eugene, OR including Bend

Based on these criteria the chart below compares the sales activity for the first quarter of 2012 with each of the preceding five years:

As you can see 1st quarter sales activity was less than last year but more than in 2010.  It gives me the impression that that we’ve bottomed out but we are bouncing along the bottom, ie, it’s not getting worse and it’s not getting better.  For the past four years, the first quarter sales activity has been roughly the same.   

We then analyzed the 47 closed transactions by property type:

Not surprisingly, multi-family leads the way with the most sales transactions in the first quarter.  What is a bit surprising is the number of office transactions.  This is significantly up from the past few years.  Is this a trend or an anomaly?  We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the year develops.

Of the 47 transactions, 16 had broker representation on both sides of the transaction.  Eleven had no broker representation.  The remaining 20 transactions had only one side of the transaction represented.

If you add it all up, there were a total of 52 paydays (2 x 16 + 20).  So if you want to know your personal market share of all the broker paydays divide your number of paydays by 52.

Shown below are the lending sources for these transactions:

The banks continue to provide the bulk of the acquisition financing for Oregon and SW Washington.  There is almost a complete absence by the life companies, Freddie & Fannie, and the credit unions.  A big surprise is the lack of seller financing.  Over the past several years seller financing was the predominant way most non-apartment transactions were financed.

Shown below are the top 6 real estate brokerage firms based on total broker representation of closed transactions for the 1st quarter of 2012:

The real estate brokerage community is not dominated by any one firm.  In fact, Joseph Bernard Investment Real Estate, who is ranked #1 on the list with 5 broker representations, represents less than 10% of the total market.  The top 6 firms present only 42% of the total market.

So how do I summarize the first quarter?  It’s been surprisingly quiet.  I was expecting more activity than last year, and so far that has not materialized.  That’s not to say it won’t but it needs to pick it up a few notches if the market is going to show a sustained improvement over the previous couple of years.  Here’s hoping that the coming quarter shows improved strength over the one we’ve just finished!