The Real Deal New York

Large office property sales up 44 percent in first half of 2014

Eastdil Secured dominates market with over $13B in deals; CBRE sales down more than a third
July 23, 2014 04:50PM

Large office property sales soared in the first half of the year, during which time New York-based commercial brokerage Eastdil Secured remained the sector’s top broker.

Some $37.8 billion worth of office properties changed hands during the first six months of the year, up 44 percent from the same period in 2013, according to Real Estate Alert, which follows transactions of at least $25 million. Should the second half of the year see volume rise at a similar rate, annual sales nationwide could pass $100 billion for the first time since the 2007 peak of $138 billion.

A heavy concentration of the sales were brokered by Eastdil, with the firm closing $13.1 billion in large office sales — more than three times the amount of the next three brokerages combined. Eastdil’s transactions accounted for 40 percent of all brokered trades in the 10 busiest markets in the country, of which New York City is No. 1.

CBRE, the second-ranked brokerage in terms of large office property sales, had a six-month total of $4.9 billion, down more than a third from its sales during the same period last year. The firm’s market share tumbled to 15.1 percent from a first-place 31.6 percent last year, according to REA. And despite the boost from the $1.3 billion sale of an office condominium at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, a big drop in New York City activity accounted for three-quarters of CBRE’s sharp decline. The brokerage told REA that it has a number of big deals on tap for the second half of 2014 however, including the pending $585 million sale of One Wall Street and the $250 million sale of 1412 Broadway, which closed this month.

Pittsburgh-based HFF, which brokered $4.8 billion worth of deals, up 58 percent from the same period last year, giving it a 14.8 percent market slice. The firm led the charge in two of the country’s five most active markets: Boston and Chicago.

Half of all investor activity took place in the country’s top five markets: New York, with $7.8 billion in sales, Los Angeles with $3.6 billion, Boston with $3 billion, San Jose/Silicon Valley with $2.7 billion and Chicago with $2.3 billion. — Julie Strickland