Hotel Sales Surged To Pre-Pandemic Levels Last Year, Reflecting Investor Confidence

Hotel Sales Surged To Pre-Pandemic Levels Last Year, Reflecting Investor Confidence

As leisure travel made a comeback last year, deals for hotels worth $25M or more reached levels not seen since 2018.

Total sales nearly quadrupled in 2021 compared to 2020, reaching $21.5B, Real Estate Alert reported.

That number represents a 265% year-over-year increase, demonstrating investors’ confidence in the travel sector’s recovery and rising interest in deploying capital into the resurgent property type.

Many of the top brokers increased sales by four or five times what they were closing in 2020.

Hodges Ward Elliott earned the title of most active broker last year with sales totaling $5.19B, capturing a 27.8% market share, according to data from Real Estate Alert’s Deal Database.

CBRE did $3.97B in sales, earning the second-highest total sales last year. Eastdil Secured brokered $3.49B, placing it in third despite increasing sales fivefold. JLL doubled its sales volume to just over $3B, but its overall market share dropped from 29.4% to 16.2%.

The hotel industry finished 2021 with something of a bumpy landing. Though the industry reportedly set records during Thanksgiving week, the rise of the omicron variant increased uncertainty about cancellations.

But that hasn’t affected investors’ confidence in the sector’s recovery, which Atlas Hospitality President Alan Reay in January predicted would rise on the back of leisure travel in “A” locations like “coastal and wine country.”

The recovery does appear strongest in leisure destinations, where room rates that exceeded pre-pandemic numbers drove record pricing and investment in those markets.

Kevin Mallory, global head of hotel brokerage and investment sales at CBRE, told Real Estate Alert that the majority of business CBRE is bringing to market is in sunshine states.

Data from STR shows that hotels recovered 83% of their pre-pandemic revenue per room last year, and experts predict that rates will continue to rise in reaction to increased demand and market pressures like inflation.

“From an underwriting standpoint… we feel very good about hotels,” Joe Delli Santi, a senior vice president of acquisitions and development at MCR, told Real Estate Alert. “Inflation is very good for our business. Hotels reprice their rooms every day.”

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