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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Covid-19 fuels best-ever commercial real-estate sales


Investors set a record for U.S. commercial-property sales in 2021, betting that the pandemic is reordering how Americans live, work and play, writes Peter Grant for the Wall Street Journal. Real estate buyers loaded up on warehouses, apartment buildings and vacation-oriented hotels. “Did the pandemic accelerate these trends?” Spencer Levy, senior economic adviser at real-estate firm CBRE Group Inc., asked Grant. “You bet it did.” Commercial-property sales totaled a record $809 billion in 2021, according to data firm Real Capital Analytics. That was nearly double 2020’s total, and it exceeded the previous record of about $600 billion in 2019, writes Grant. One needs to look no further than downtown Des Moines to see the interest in investors in taking advantage of ever-increasing rental rates. Since July, at least six apartment buildings located in or around downtown Des Moines have been sold to out-of-state investors.

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