The fourth quarter of 2012 is shaping up to be an extremely strong period for retail investment sales, with overall transaction volume looking to overtake last year’s levels by a mile.

In October, sales of significant retail properties rose 10 percent year-over-year, to $4 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA), a New York City-based research firm. Year-to-date, retail investment sales volume is up 7 percent compared to 2011, at $38.4 billion. If last year’s large entity-level transactions such as Blackstone’s purchase of Centro’s U.S. portfolio are taking out of the equation, year-to-date sales volume is up 31 percent.

In addition, RCA reports that average cap rates on retail properties fell 10 basis points in October, to 7.3 percent.

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