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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 $106 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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As the last Auld Lang Syne was sung in 2019, we welcomed a new decade in 2020. The prospectus for the new year, at least for the near term, remains positive overall. Progress in the form of a partial truce in the U.S.-China trade war helped the 2019 stock market rally hit record highs. The tight labor market translated into a healthy holiday shopping season as Super Saturday (the Saturday right before Christmas) became the biggest retail sales day in U.S. history, topping Black Friday by 10 percent. A pause in the Fed’s interest rate policy and near-term guidance on no changes mean a little dose of certainty. However despite the positives, it is prudent to look beyond at what the year also holds in store. The formal passing of impeachment articles in the House but non-submittal to the U.S. Senate means impeachment trial will be a lingering and ongoing process. The U.S.-China trade war remains unsettled and will continue to be a cloud of uncertainty for businesses. Lastly, the heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and looming Brexit are all things to keep an eye on. What is certain for the U.S. over the next several months will be the U.S. presidential election as it enters the final stretch. To 2020 we look on!


Despite a slowing national economy, international trade tensions and declining business and consumer confidence levels, the U.S. labor market has continued to grow at a respectable rate. Between January and November 2019, payroll gains averaged 180,000 jobs per month, about a fourth lower than the level experienced during the same period in 2018. These figures are especially impressive given that the national unemployment rate has remained below 4% for ten consecutive months. The tight labor market has led to increased wages, especially for those at the lower-end of the income spectrum where competition for workers remains fierce. Jobless claims remain historically low, but the number of layoffs in 2019 climbed as key retailers filed for bankruptcy and the trade war negatively impacted manufacturing.




S&P 500



Fed Funds Rate


14 bps

10-yr. T-Note




*WTI Crude Oil Spot Price. Data points through end of December 2019. Change represents month-over-month change.

Jeremiah Lee
Rene Moreira
Joey Valenzuela

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in Q3 2019, in line with the pace from the previous quarter but down 80 bps from the same time in 2018. The U.S. consumer continues to be the backbone of the economic expansion with consumption in goods and services witnessing gains above their current cycle average. The slower pace of growth was mostly due to softness of growth in private investment and net exports. Private investment had witnessed the fastest pace since early 2013 in late 2018 but failed to sustain that pace in 2019. However, given the upbeat news in the tail end of 2019 the U.S. economy is expected to continue expanding at a moderate pace.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

After flirting with new cyclical highs earlier in the year, consumer confidence stabilized through the final months of 2019, reaching 126.5 in December 2019. Although down from recent highs, the still-elevated consumer confidence readings point to positive but moderating economic growth through the near term.

Source: The Conference Board

Total retail sales growth remained resilient through November 2019, increasing by 0.2% from the previous month and 3.4% year-over-year, supported by steady job growth and improving wage gains. Highlighted by a buoyant, though shorter, holiday sales season, 2019 retail sales are set to surpass the previous year’s totals. This momentum will likely carry into the new year, as the recent de-escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions and diminishing threat of additional tariffs on consumer goods further support retail sales.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Demand for homes continues to be strong as long-term mortgage rates remain near historic lows. During the first week of the new year, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to 3.72%, nearly 80 bps lower than it was a year ago. Favorable lending conditions have buoyed home sales in recent months which has continued to exacerbate the national housing shortage. In addition, the dwindling number of entry-level homes has made it much more difficult, or impossible, for first-time homebuyers to enter the market. Homebuilder confidence is at its highest level in 20 years, but the group is taking a much more conservative approach by building new homes at rate that is about half of the level recorded during the pre-GFC peak. In the coming months, the U.S. housing market will be supported by millennials taking advantage of lower interest rates, but home prices will continue to rise.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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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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