Moody’s: U.S. commercial real estate prices continue upward trend

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U.S. commercial real estate prices continued their modest rise in January, up 1.0 percent during the month, according to a Monday report from Moody’s Investors Services. It was the third month in a row of price increases in the commercial sector, which has brought prices back 6.3 percent from their October 2009 low, when they were 43.7 percent off of their October 2007 peak, the report says. There were 376 sales during the month totaling $4.9 billion, representing an 8 percent drop in activity year-over-year, but a 9 percent increase in dollar volume. “A few months of price gains does not necessarily indicate a sustainable trend, particularly in these difficult times,” cautioned Nick Levidy, managing director at Moody’s. “Higher transaction volumes are needed to enhance the price discovery process.” New York performed worst out of Moody’s major office markets — New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. — during 2009, with prices dropping 32.7 percent during the year. In Florida, apartment building values dropped 38 percent over the year, according to the report. TRD