Building Magazine


RICS advises on creation of first global commercial real estate transaction database

RICS Americas, the New York City-based division of the London-headquartered Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), recently advised independent research company, Real Capital Analytics (RCA), on the creation of the first global commercial real estate transaction database. The subscription-based database, which is available on the RCA’s website, represents RICS’ and RCA’s commitment to increasing the exchange of industry information worldwide to promote global market transparency.

“The world’s capital markets will benefit considerably from this new level of global transparency,” said RICS past president Steve Williams, who has been advising Real Capital Analytics in its production of a regular global report, Global Capital Trends. “RCA’s transparency initiative parallels the RICS commitment to the sharing of global knowledge in a renewed emphasis on minimizing the current market uncertainty.”
The RCA database focuses primarily on the main income-producing commercial property types: office, industrial, retail, apartment and hotel, plus the sales of commercially developable land sites. The company captures sales of properties and portfolios of $2.5 million or greater in the United States and $10 million and greater outside of the United States. Three or more independent sources are consulted for each transaction which is also separately reviewed by two or more skilled RCA researchers. The information is continuously updated and revised for accuracy.

“Building on our work with U.S. data, one of the world’s most active real estate investment markets, we created the global database to promote greater levels of transparency globally,” said Peter Culliney, director, global real estate for RCA. “One of the key benefits of the database is that it factors in elements such as the exact exchange rate at the time of the transaction and differing measurement protocols, so that subscribers can examine deals from a level vantage point in the same currency and spatial measurements. This makes it an unparalleled resource for professionals operating globally.”

In addition to exclusive deal information, RCA will generate a summary of trends and facts revealed by the database in the Global Capital Trends report that is scheduled to come out eight times per year. This month’s inaugural issue tracked 114 ‘billion dollar’ cities, each with over $1 billion in transactions in 2007. It also announced that in 2007 worldwide acquisitions of commercial property surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever. The study found that while 50 per cent of the 2007 sales tracked occurred in United States and 30 per cent in Europe, commercial property sales in Asia could surpass transaction volumes in United States or Europe in 2008. Underscoring this is the fact that half of all land acquired by developers in 2007 occurred in China.

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