updated 3/9/2011 11:16:19 AM ET 2011-03-09T16:16:19

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

  • CoStar's Investment Grade Index is up 10.6% versus the same period last year, even after starting 2011 on a slight decline, decreasing 1.1% for the first month of 2011.
  • The Investment Grade pair count is up 54% over the year-ago level, a substantial increase.
  • The increase in Investment Grade repeat sales transactions reflects trends in the broader market. CoStar tracked more than $211 billion in total sale transactions in 2010. This is a 79% increase over 2009 sales volume for all sales. While the market is clearly recovering, sales transaction volume still remains 63% below the market's recent peak volume level.
  • CoStar's General Grade Index is down 11.3% versus the same period last year. It did however start 2011 on a slight up-note, increasing 0.4% for the first month of 2011. After being down for the past three months at 2.4% and down 11.3% for the past year, it seems the smaller property index may be seeing the specter of bottom for the first time in the past three years.
  • The General Grade pair count is down 1% over the year-ago level. Pair counts will likely increase slightly as additional closings are recorded.
  • The Composite Index, which is an equal weighted analysis of both the Investment Grade and General Grade indices and a reflection of the broad overall market, was flat the first month of 2011, down 2.6% for the past three months and down 6.6% for the past 12 months. In the Northeast, average pricing for Multifamily is up strongly with Industrial and Office pricing stabilizing.

The CoStar Commercial Repeat-Sale Indices (CCRSI) are the most comprehensive and accurate measures of commercial real estate prices in the United States. In addition to the national composite index, there are a total of 32 sub-indices in the CoStar index family. The sub-indices include breakdowns by property sector (office, industrial, retail, multifamily and land), by region of the country (Northeast, South, Midwest, West), by transaction size and quality (general commercial, investment grade), and by market size (composite index of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the country). The CoStar national composite index is produced on a monthly basis.

The CoStar indices are constructed using a repeat sales methodology, widely considered as the most accurate way to measure price changes for real estate. The repeat sales methodology measures the movement in the prices of commercial properties by collecting data on the actual sales prices that occur when a property sells. When a property is sold more than one time, a sale pair is created. The prices from the first and second sale are then used to calculate price movement for the property. By aggregating all the price changes from all of the sale pairs, a price index is created.

COMMENTARY ON DATA

We wish to point out a one-time change in the methodology used effective this month. The quarterly indices and approach has not changed but the monthly numbers are now based on a two-stage/frequency-conversion of rotating quarter procedure, which is slightly less noisy than direct monthly estimates.

The CCRSI March 2011 report is based on data through the end of January 2011. In January of 2011, 483 pair sales were recorded compared to 434 in the same month of 2010. Note that is an increase of 11% compared to the prior year, and we expect to see pair volume running closer to 20% ahead of January 2010 as additional sales from that period are confirmed and added, in line with the 22% higher volume we observed in December of 2010 versus December of 2009. 

The Investment Grade pair count is up 54% over last year at this time while the General Grade pair count is down just a single percent. As previously mentioned, the pair counts for both will likely increase slightly when the additional closings are recorded.

Distress sales as a percent of the total increased in each of the four quarters in 2010 with an increase of just over 20% in the fourth quarter and an increase of 18.5% for all of 2010. By property type, the highest percentage of distress in the fourth quarter was found in the Hospitality sector at 36%, followed by Multifamily at 24%, Office at 21% and Industrial and Retail both near 19%. It is clear from our analysis that the amount of distressed commercial property has not peaked and will continue to affect the pricing indices provided here. 

We provide one graph below showing the sales counts and a second showing dollar volume. Note that by transaction count the General Grade Index sales accounted for 68% of the total sales transaction count in January. By volume in January properties in the Investment Grade Index represented 78% of total volume. The average deal size within Investment Grade was $10.5 million in January down from nearly $16 million in December and more in line with long-term averages. The average dollar size for the General Grade Index was $1.4 million in January compared to $1.6 million in December.

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

Charts accompanying this release are available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/9473/file/9676.pdf

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 http://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 distressed sales as a percentage of total sales has peaked; that the trends represented or implied by the indices will continue; and that the CCRSI will be released on the date and updated on the frequency set forth in the release. 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: Media Economist
         Chris Macke
         Senior Real Estate Strategist
         877-739-5192
         cmacke@costar.com
         
         Analysis
         Dr. Norm Miller
         Vice President of Analytics
         858-678-4206
         nmiller@costar.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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