What a difference a year makes. You hear that a lot around the commercial real estate industry today, especially when it comes to the overall investment sales market.

According to new data from New York-based researcher Real Capital Analytics (RCA), sales volume reached $15.4 billion, which is a 50% increase from the first quarter of 2009. More good news: Every property type registered higher volume.

Surprisingly, despite the huge overhang of distressed properties, it was core rather than distressed sales behind the volume gains. Sharp declines in cap rates were recorded for certain assets due to competition among buyers and the rapidly improving debt markets that are allowing buyers access to low interest rates.

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