updated 12/9/2010 2:15:21 AM ET 2010-12-09T07:15:21

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Monthly Performance: Declines in Pricing, Sales Volumes and Average Transaction Size Consistent With Up-and-Down Pattern of a Recovery

  • Reversing two months of increasing prices, all three of CoStar's "headline" Commercial Repeat-Sale Indices decreased in October, continuing the recent see-saw performance of commercial real estate pricing.
     
  • CoStar's National All Property Type Index, representing all commercial properties and the broadest industry measure of commercial real estate transaction pricing, slipped to its lowest point since the index peaked in February of 2008. While still decreasing, the rate decline has begun to slow considerably. Since June of 2009 the rate decline has been reduced by half.  
     
  • CoStar's National All Property Type Index declined 3.88% during October, giving back its positive 3.07% gain in September. 
     
  • CoStar's General commercial real estate pricing index, representing smaller transactions that comprise the largest number of real estate sales, experienced a larger monthly decline, 5.11%.
     
  • CoStar's Investment Grade commercial real estate pricing index, representing larger transactions that comprise the majority of the market on a dollar volume basis, experienced the smallest decline, 1.10%.
     
  • The average deal size within the Investment Grade pricing index fell more than 63%, from over $23 million in September to $8.4 million in October. 
     
  • October's dollar volume for repeat property sales declined to one-half of September's dollar volume. 
     
  • The high volatility apparent in the market on a monthly basis is indicative of two prominent trends. First, monthly swings in pricing, sales volumes and average transaction size are common in markets experiencing a turn. Second, it reflects the tension in a market characterized by the majority of sales occurring at two ends of the spectrum -- distress sales at the bottom end of prices, and keen investor appetite, especially among REITs, for higher quality properties in core markets at the top end of the market. We expect to begin to see the extremes in range of prices replaced with more modest and less volatile monthly price trends when the proportion of distress sales begins to slowly reduce.

Quarterly Performance: 

The Haves and Have Nots

  • The recovery in pricing of larger transactions continues to significantly outperform the recovery in pricing of smaller transactions for the year.
     
  • The Investment Grade pricing index remains up 9.11% for the last 3 months, an extremely strong performance buoyed by the increased volume of larger-than-average deals and a large percentage of transactions that occurred in core markets in September.
     
  • Conversely, the General real estate pricing index remains down 7.70% for the last 3 months. 

Peak- To-Trough Performance: 

The Bigger They Are the Sooner and Harder They Fall

  • The Investment Grade pricing index began to decline first, in September of 2007, while the General real estate pricing index didn't begin to decline until March of 2008. 
     
  • From its peak values, the General real estate pricing index has fallen 30.34% while the Investment Grade Index has fallen 34.55% since its peak.

Sales Volumes

  • Investment Grade sales volume, while lower for the month of October, has increased 14% over the last 3 months and is nearly 70% higher than one year ago. 
     
  • General real estate volumes have declined 6% over the last 3 months and increased a mere 7% from a year ago.

Future Pricing

We expect the current see-saw pattern in pricing to continue as a result of the relative "trickle" of properties that are being allowed to come to market. Additionally, CoStar has reported increases in average asking rents and positive net absorption for several commercial property markets. However, net operating incomes are expected to continue to deteriorate for a time as rents on existing leases roll to lower market rents. At the same time, the lack of new supply could lead to strong rent growth in the future. Lastly, if interest rates begin to increase, we believe it will be a race between the rate of increase in net operating incomes and the rate of increase in interest rates.

Comparison Table for Current Release (ending 10/31/2010)

  1 MONTH

EARLIER
1 QUARTER

EARLIER
1 YEAR

EARLIER
2 YEARS

EARLIER
National All Property Type Aggregate -3.88% -3.39% -6.71% -25.51%
National Investment Grade -1.10% 9.11% 0.00% -29.11%
National General All Property -5.11% -7.70% -8.69% -23.82%

Commentary on data

This CCRSI report is based on data through the end of October 2010.  In October of 2010, 604 pair sales were recorded compared to 612 sales pairs from September. Information on a small number of additional sales is expected over the next few months. Typically we receive additional data that adds a few percent to the numbers from 2 months ago and up to 12% more data from one month ago. Based on this, it appears that transaction volumes are stable or slightly up. Overall, there has been a significant upward trend in pair volume going back to 2009.  January 2009 appears to have been the low point in the downturn in terms of pair volume, when 376 transactions were recorded.  Since then, pair dollar volume has increased overall and the average deal sizes for both general and investment grade have increased as a general trend.

We provide two graphs below, the first showing the sales counts and the second showing the sale volume weighted by the dollar size of the deals. Note that by transaction count the general sales accounted for 65% of the volume in October, while by dollar volume the general sales accounted for 23% of the total sales in October. We saw a spike in September sales volume, which was nearly double the sales volume observed in October. The average deal size within investment grade was over $23 million in September compared to $8.4 million in October and $11.7 million for the year to date.

Distress continues to be a significant factor in the index results with about one fifth of all sales transactions being distress sales.

Multiple charts and graphs available at  http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/9473/file/9204.pdf

For more information about CCRSI Indices, including our legal notices and disclaimer, please visit www.costar.com/ccrsi .

About CoStar Group, Inc.

CoStar Group (Nasdaq:CSGP) is commercial real estate's leading provider of information, analytic and marketing services. Founded in 1987, CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information. Our suite of online services enables clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar maintains offices throughout the U.S. and in Europe with a staff of approximately 1,500 worldwide, including the industry's largest professional research organization. For more information, visit www.costar.com .

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" including, without limitation, statements regarding CoStar's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. More information about potential factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those stated in CoStar's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including CoStar's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and CoStar's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, under the heading "Risk Factors." In addition to these statements, there can be no assurance that the trends represented or implied by the indices will continue; that we will begin to see the extremes in range of prices replaced with more modest and normal monthly price trends when the proportion of distress sales begins to slowly reduce; that the current see-saw pattern in pricing will continue as a result of the relative "trickle" of properties that are being allowed to come to market; that net operating incomes will continue to deteriorate for a time as rents on existing leases roll to lower market rents; that the lack of new supply will lead to strong rent growth in the future; that, if interest rates begin to increase, we will experience a race between the rate of increase in net operating incomes and the rate of increase in interest rates; and that distress will continue to be a significant factor in the index results in the near or long-term future. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to CoStar on the date hereof, and CoStar assumes no obligation to update such statements.

CONTACT:  CoStar Group, Inc.
          Chris Macke, Media Economist
            877.739.5192
            cmacke@costar.com
          Dr. Norm Miller, Vice President, Analytics
            858.678.4206
            nmiller@costar.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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