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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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Q4 2019

Through Q3 2019, the cap rate-to-corporate bond yield ratio rose to its highest level since 2013, as the relative value of commercial real estate improved as corporate bond yields fell. Elevated deal volume maintained downward pressure on cap rates through Q3 2019, remaining relatively unchanged from one year ago, while BBB corporate bond yields declined by nearly a full percentage point in comparison to 2018. Anticipated interest rate volatility will cause the ratio to fluctuate going forward.

Sources: Oxford Economics, NCREIF, Green Street, Real Capital Analytics

Supported by falling interest rates and healthy property fundamentals, REITs have widely outperformed the broader equity market and private real estate sector, producing close to a 30% total return through October 2019. Year-to-date returns across property sectors, except for regional malls, were buoyant, particularly for industrial, multifamily, and data center REITs. Through the first three quarters of 2019, the return for private real estate was a modest 4.8%, with income returns accounting for a dominant share of this performance.

Sources: NCREIF; NAREIT. Both indices rebased to 100 on June 30, 2006

Following four months of a negative 3-month/10year Treasury spread, the yield “reverted” in October, a trend supported by signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks, as well as a third cut to the Federal Funds target rate. Quantitative easing and the negative interest rate policy employed by central banks in Europe and Asia have clouded the picture, raising questions concerning the yield curve’s predictive capabilities. Whether or not this recent inversion is a false positive, the curve’s flattened profile reflects the growing investor pessimism and expectations for weaker growth moving forward.

Source: Federal Reserve

The leading economic index edged upwards through late 2019 but at a significantly slower pace in comparison to earlier in the cycle. The sustained yield curve inversion and weak manufacturing sector growth offset positive signals in other sectors of the economy. Rising by just 0.4% year-over-year, the slowest rate since midyear 2016, the LEI has seemingly plateaued, an indication of more tempered growth ahead.

Source: The Conference Board Index is comprised of ten economic indicators, including average production work week, initial unemployment claims, manufacturers new orders, vendor performance, supplier deliveries, building permits, stock prices, money supply, consumer expectations, and interest rate spreads.

The unemployment rate maintained its downward trend through the tail-end of 2019. The U.S. economy added jobs at an average of 167,000 jobs per month through October 2019 versus an average of 223,000 jobs per month in 2018. With monthly job creation continuing at a respectable pace, the unemployment rate declined to a cycle-low in September 2019 before rising 10 bps to 3.6% in October 2019.

Source: BEA
Jeremiah Lee
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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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