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CBRE Group, Inc. is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, with 2018 revenues of $21.3 billion and more than 90,000 employees (excluding affiliate offices). CBRE has been included in the Fortune 500 since 2008, ranking #146 in 2019. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.


CBRE Global Investors, combined with CBRE Clarion Securities and CBRE Caledon, is one of the world’s leading real asset investment managers with $113 billion in assets under management.

Built up over more than 40 years, our unparalleled platform is focused on real assets, giving our institutional clients access to real estate and infrastructure in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our clients benefit from a complete range of investment solutions including equity and debt, direct and indirect, and listed and unlisted strategies.

Trammell Crow Company, founded in Dallas, Texas in 1948, is one of the nation’s oldest and most prolific developers of, and investors in, commercial real estate.The CBRE Global Investors and Trammell Crow Company platforms make up the Real Estate Investments division of CBRE Group.

The Real Estate Investments division is led by
Mike Lafitte, Global CEO, Real Estate Investments.


Regularly released content on the state of the real estate and infrastructure industry are produced by our subject matter experts and shared on their blogs. A selection of them can be found below.

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The record-long economic expansion continues into its 11th year. GDP growth in 2020 is expected to slow down from 2.3% in 2019 but is projected to be close to its potential rate of 2%. The pace of job growth will also cool as unemployment levels stay in the mid-3% range. The Federal Reserve and other global central banks were able to forestall an economic downturn by aggressively cutting rates in 2019. That accommodative stance will continue through the near term as global growth remains weak compounded by fears around the spread of coronavirus. The consensus among investors is for the Fed to hold monetary policy unchanged, with a bias toward another rate cut in 2020. Consumers are resilient and upbeat, household balance sheets are in good shape, low jobless claims and steady wage growth suggest a strong labor market, stock prices are climbing, and house prices are generally appreciating. Also, inflation is low, along with interest rates. Stability and steady growth in the economy will be reflected in near-term demand for commercial real estate from tenants and investors alike.


Ten years into the recovery the office sector is well positioned with the lowest vacancy since mid-2001 at 12.1%, declining 30 bps over the past year. Sustained demand from technology companies was the dominant theme for 2019 though the financial services and coworking sectors were active as well. Although the last quarter 2019 was dominated by negative headlines about WeWork, coworking did lift leasing activity in the first three quarters of the year. Traditional tech hubs, gateway metros and Sunbelt markets led the top 10 list for most absorption. Heading into 2020, the key story is the continued migration of tenants to state-of-the-art buildings in vibrant neighborhoods, as much older stock suffers from obsolescence.




S&P 500



Fed Funds Rate


41 bps

10-yr. T-Note




*WTI Crude Oil Spot Price. Data points through end of January 2020. Change represents month-over-month change.

Shubhra Jha
Rene Moreira

Although still above its long-term average, net absorption in 2019 for the industrial sector dipped below completions for the first time in a decade. The availability rate moved up marginally by 20 bps to 7.2% by YE 2019 as new supply remained elevated. Despite that increase, rents continued to climb, though at a slightly slower pace than prior years. There is still a robust supply pipeline in the works that will likely keep the availability rate from improving further from its current generational lows. At the same time, anticipated slower global growth and trade activity are forecast to dampen demand. Consumer sentiment and expanding e-commerce and urban distribution networks remain positive tailwinds for the sector.

Source: CBRE EA

Changing consumer behavior and disruptive technology continue to transform the retail sector. Job gains and the healthy housing sector boosted consumer sentiment towards the end of the year supporting holiday sales. That translated into decent demand levels which, combined with extremely low supply levels, resulted in availability rates declining. Availability rates for the overall retail sector have been gradually declining since 2009 and at 6.1% are currently the lowest they have been since 2005. Much of the decline in the sector is led by neighborhood centers where availability rates compressed 40 bps over 2019 to 8.6%. At 5.4% and 7.0% respectively, malls/lifestyle centers and power centers have lower availabilities than neighborhood centers but have remained stagnant in recent years as they have been impacted by store closures.

Source: CBRE EA

The apartment sector’s supply-demand dynamics were in balance for 2019. The demand story remains positive thanks to solid job gains, the demographic tailwinds and difficulty in accessing affordable, entry-level for-sale housing for young households. Development remains active but construction delays due to labor shortages are commonplace pushing more deliveries into 2020. This has helped keep vacancies in the mid-4% range for a few years while rent growth has been strong and above inflation. Coastal metros with expensive for-sale housing and sunbelt metros are the leading rent growth markets. Supply levels are anticipated to be elvated through 2021 and are expected to coincide with slowing demand, leading to higher vacancies and a slower pace of rent increases going forward.

Source: CBRE EA, 4-Quarter Moving Average

The hotel sector had a record year in 2019 in terms of rooms available, rooms sold and room revenue. On a YoY basis, supply and demand increased at about 2% while occupancy compared to 2018 was essentially flat at 66.1%. The absolute ADR and RevPAR values were the highest recorded, but growth has slowed to a crawl. With supply and demand growing in equilibrium, ADR is the sole driver of RevPAR gains. Since ADR is increasing below the rate of inflation, revenue growth is not keeping up with rising costs, such as wage increases. The current industry growth cycle is the longest since the 1990s and supply has ramped up. New deliveries will remain particularly challenging in the limited-service segment and in certain major markets.

Sources: CBRE EA; CBRE Research
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Please note that the content of this report is for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation. Any opinions are solely those of the Strategy & Research Team of CBRE Global Investors and are subject to change without notice, and may not be consistent with market trends or future events. This research is based on current public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent it as accurate, updated or complete, and it should not be relied on as such.

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