Distressed Sales Drive CRE Prices Down for Fifth Month: Moody's

Posted on June 24, 2011

Commercial real estate prices (CRE) in the U.S. declined in April by 3.7 percent, according to a new report fromMoody’s Investors Service.

The New York-based agency’s national property price index measures the change in actual transaction prices for commercial real estate assets based on the repeat-sales of the same assets at different points in time.

April marked the index’s lowest level since its inception, but Moody’s says the price recovery that began a year ago among “trophy properties” in the largest markets is still evident and continuing.

However, this decrease is the index‘s fifth consecutive decline with distressed prices negating the price recovery seen in larger, higher quality assets, resulting in a continued decline in the overall market.

“In April, we continued to see a case of where the strong are getting stronger and the weak are getting weaker,” says Tad Philipp, Moody’s director of CRE research. “Major asset/major market prices have recovered more than half of their post-peak losses while prices for distressed transactions have continued to bounce around the bottom.”

Despite a recent increase in transaction volume, the large share of distressed transactions precludes a broad market recovery at this time, Moody’s said in a statement. Distressed sales comprised at least 20 percent of the repeat-sales transaction volume for 17 consecutive months.

By Heather Hill Cernoch, DSNews