Commercial real estate investment trends & outlook

Increase in activity across primary markets and entity-level transactions drive volumes in 2018.

Increased activity in primary markets and heightened volume of entity-level acquisitions led to a 16.4 percent rise in transaction activity in the U.S. in 2018. But economic growth—in the U.S. and abroad—will slow in 2019. This will lead to more divergent real estate market performance fundamentals. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve’s recently less hawkish stance, and continued strong job growth figures, will balance some of these pressures.

The following themes are expected to shape investor behavior in the months ahead: 

Key themes


Investor attention is increasingly shifting to liquid and secure markets and asset types.

Global capital

The composition and behavior of cross-border buyers has marked notable shifts during the past 12-18 months, with the U.S. becoming a less attractive investment destination for investors hedging their currencies.


Debt availability remains strong as the agency lenders and life companies continue to increase origination levels. 

Sector snapshots

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