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Look at Which City is Leading the US in CRE Deals

December 03, 2020

In a year of firsts, another record has been set in commercial real estate. In normal years, Manhattan would occupy the top spot for US transaction volume, hands down. At various times of market disruption, Los Angeles would topple Manhattan for shorter periods, but this year, Dallas has logged more time at the top of the leader board, or three consecutive quarters, than either city, according to research by Real Capital Analytics.

Other than the anomaly that is 2020, what could be the contributing factors in this great reversal? Granted, year-to-date deal activity across all the top markets diminished amid the COVID-19 crisis. But, Dallas’ drop was less dramatic than the traditionally heavyweight markets.

Manhattan’s rankings descent is the result of a gut punch of apartment market tumult, then the total knockout of the hotel market. After slipping to number eight in apartment sales after rent control regulations skimmed off investor demand in Manhattan last year, more disruption was soon to follow. In 2020, the besieged hotel market, which was buckling to competition and saturation, melted down under the weight of COVID.

Meanwhile in Dallas/Fort Worth, economic diversity has alleviated the health crisis’ employment shock. This has helped to stabilize the metro’s labor force by mitigating sector-specific jolts. While the market’s unemployment rate momentarily reached double digits as almost 410,000 jobs were lost in March and April, it remained below the national average. Additionally, the state’s early reopening underscored an accelerated jobs recovery when 224,000 positions added from May through September pushed the unemployment rate back down to 5.4%, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap.
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