Bring on the Transactions

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We've all been waiting for the first big transaction to get things going. Maybe it happened today with news that Thayer Lodging Group and China's Jin Jiang Hotels will buy Interstate Hotels & Resorts. We've seen a handful of single distressed properties being sold the past month (Wyndham Orange County, Sheraton Orlando, W Union Square, etc.), but today's was the first significant hotel company being sold (for $307 million in an all-cash purchase).

This comes on the heels of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels transaction forecast earlier this week that predicted a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in global transaction volume for 2010 ($11-$13 billion, up from $9 billion this year). The Interstate deal won't close until the first quarter of 2010, so chalk up that $307 million toward next year.

Before the news broke today, I had just finished a story on distressed hotel assets that you'll soon be seeing in our new distressed real estate ereport we're producing with our Penton Real Estate Group partners National Real Estate Investor and Retail Traffic.

Let's hope these are all signs of the transaction market flowing again, meaning that maybe we are really at bottom and on the road to recovery.

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