In the second quarter, 1,295 private equity real estate deals with a combined value of $62 billion were completed, down from 1,623 deals worth $77 billion in the first quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of declines in the number of deals announced and their total value, according to the latest data from Preqin.
The second-quarter figure could rise by as much as 10% as new information becomes available, Preqin said in a press release. However, the final figures are still expected to trail the record $102 billion of deals logged in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Preqin said a possible cause for the slowdown could be higher asset pricing driving fund managers to the lower end of the market, with almost 67% of second-quarter deals valued at less than $50 million, compared to the year-ago figure of 59%.
The quarter saw interest in residential real estate deals rise, with the sector accounting for 27% of deal value, up from 15% a year ago. Office transactions fell in deal value to 28%, from 36% in the 2017 second quarter.
According to the report, all regions saw a decline in the number of completed private equity real estate deals, with 921 deals closed in North America, 342 deals closed in Europe and eight deals closed in Asia. The biggest deal completed during the quarter was private equity giant Blackstone Group LP's $7.6 billion acquisition of Gramercy Property Trust.
Single-asset transactions made up 84% of deals completed and 69% of deal value.
"Even if [transaction] activity has fallen below levels seen through most of 2017, the first half of 2018 has still seen activity on par with levels recorded in 2016 and 2015," Preqin Head of Real Estate Products Tom Carr said in the release.