In January, US commercial real estate price growth hit levels not seen since before COVID-19, according to the latest Real Capital Analytics CPPI: US summary report.

Overall, the US National All-Property Index rose 6.9% from a year ago and 1.2% from December.

While prices continued to accelerate in January, deal volume slumped after a record-breaking December 2020.

While there are still questions about how much of the workforce returns, office prices rebounded 3.3% year-over-year in January. Suburban offices drove those gains. Last August, office prices were posting no annual growth.

Industrial, which has been the hottest sector through the pandemic, posted 8.3% annual growth, giving it the top spot among all the property types. Industrial prices are slightly below what it posted in 2019.

Gains in multifamily stayed near the 7% they have been hovering near over the last several months, hitting 6.8% in January. They are well below the highs posted in 2018.

The struggling retail sector again saw price growth fall 1.8% year over year. Retail trailed the other sectors before the pandemic, posted less than 5% growth. 

Overall, US commercial real estate transaction volume was down 58% in January, according to RCA. In December, transaction volumes increased 8% year-over-year. January experienced similar declines to the second and third quarters of 2020, which directly followed the onset of the pandemic.

Transaction volumes in January fell across property types at double-digit rates, except for senior housing. This was a pivot from December transactions when apartment and industrial sales took off, driving most activity. Even office properties had a good month with the highest transaction volumes since 2019. It should be noted that it is typical to see an end-of-year rush and RCA adds that the activity was likely compounded by investors closing delayed deals from earlier in the year.