RCA Insights

Chart: Dallas, Atlanta Top US Market Ranks in 2021

By on January 25th, 2022

Total U.S. commercial property investment reached an all-time high in 2021, though the pace of activity was not record-setting across all asset classes. Combined investment in multifamily and industrial assets accounted for over 60% of all investment for the top 25 markets, and markets with large exposures to both asset classes placed atop the rankings.

Retaining the #1 spot was Dallas. With $46.9 billion in total investment, 2021 represents a level 77% above the market’s prior record high. Manhattan is the only market to ever record a higher annual total. Portfolio activity did boost overall investment levels in Dallas, but single asset sales alone were enough to overtake the market’s prior record for deals of all types.

Atlanta’s #2 position is the highest ever annual ranking for the market, and the one-two punch from Dallas and Atlanta marks the first time ever that neither of the top two slots were held by a market from one of the 6 Major Metros.

Boston took the #6 slot, falling three ranks from the prior year. Boston is the only market to have record transaction volume overall, as well as across four of the five core properties types. Much of investors’ interest in Boston is tied to industries concentrated in the market. Asset sales linked to Boston’s R&D/life sciences sector were behind 28% of total purchases in 2021.

At #9, Manhattan’s rank is the worst ever recorded for this market, but the race for the top perhaps is not a fair one. Again, the dominant sectors in the top 25 most active markets for 2021 were apartment and industrial. With uncertainty still plaguing the office sector, and its industrial needs outsourced to neighboring markets, Manhattan is fundamentally not structured to land atop the ranks. In 2021, office investment accounted for over 50% of Manhattan’s overall investment.


© Real Capital Analytics

A version of this article first appeared in the 2021 Year in Review edition of US Capital Trends. Clients of Real Capital Analytics <<click here>> to download US Capital Trends from the RCA website.

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Alexis Maltin

Vice President, MSCI Research

Alexis is a leader on the MSCI real estate research team, focused on the U.S. market. Her expertise covers the commercial real estate transaction market, financing and capital flows. She is a regular writer for the monthly US Capital Trends publication. Alexis previously worked in the U.S. research team at Real Capital Analytics, which MSCI acquired in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in econometrics from the University of Virginia.