Economic growth, record low unemployment, relative low inflation, rising government spending, and tax reform have combined to produce one of the longest periods of sustained growth ever in the United States.  2018 was another record-breaking year for the U.S. hotel industry with new all-time high operating metrics including: annual occupancy, average daily rate, revenue per available room, room night demand, and available room nights.  Results of the U.S. mid-term election are not likely to produce any immediate government policy changes and the American economy is now more than a decade into a growth cycle which has been slowing. Generally, investor sentiment appears to have reached a fork in the road giving rise to some offering a bearish outlook while others remain bullish.  Trade and tariff regulations remain a hot topic as the stock market has rallied on news of a deal with China and/or NAFTA, and then has plunged when the details of these agreements have been disclosed. External factors including Brexit, areas of global economic weakness, and declining oil prices represent underlying longer-term themes. For now, the threat of rising interest rates appears to have eased as the Federal Reserve System is reacting to signals like a slowdown in the housing market and a relatively strong dollar. The government shutdown, which began on Saturday, December 22, has begun to impact various lodging markets throughout the country.

The LW Hospitality Advisors (LWHA) 2018 Major US Hotel Sales Survey includes 208 single asset sale transactions over $10 million, none of which are part of a portfolio. These transactions totaled $18.3 billion and included approximately 51,100 hotel rooms with an average sale price per room of $357,000. By comparison, the LWHA 2017 Major US Hotel Sales Survey identified 183 transactions totaling roughly $13.6 billion including 51,000 hotel rooms with an average sale price per room of nearly $267,000.  By further comparison, the LWHA 2016 Major U.S. Hotel Sales Survey identified 173 transactions totaling roughly $12.7 billion including 42,400 hotel rooms with an average sale price per room of nearly $300,000.  Comparing 2018 with 2017, the number of trades increased by approximately 14 percent while total dollar volume rose roughly 35 percent and sales price per room increased by 34 percent. Comparing 2017 with 2016, the number of trades increased by approximately 5 percent while total dollar volume rose roughly 7 percent and sales price per room declined by 11 percent.

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Daniel Lesser

Daniel H. Lesser, President & CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors LLC (LWHA), brings more than 35 years of expertise in a wide range of hospitality operational, investment counseling, valuation, advisory, and transactional services. He provides services to corporate, institutional, and individual clients as well as public agencies on all facets of hospitality real estate including: litigation support and expert testimony, site evaluation, highest and best use analysis, appraisals for mortgage, acquisition, and portfolio management, workout strategies, operational analysis, development consulting, property tax assessment appeal evaluations, economic impact studies, fairness opinions, deal structuring, and negotiation of management and franchise agreements. Mr. Lesser had been retained in connection with a broad variety of lodging assets throughout the Americas, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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