|By Eric Wolff, North County Times,
Escondido, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 06, 2012--Hotel sales rocketed upward in 2011 in both San Diego and Riverside counties, a hotels consultant said Monday.
The shift toward more buying comes amid a widespread increase in commercial real estate transactions, led largely by apartment building sales. Investors are taking advantage of low interest rates and uncertain returns in stocks to move into commercial real estate like hotels, analysts have said.
In San Diego County, 42 hotels changed hands last year, up from 11 in 2010. The total transaction volume ballooned to $1.9 billion, up from $247 million in 2010, according to Atlas Hospitality Group's annual survey. On a per-room basis, San Diego County's hotels sold for a median of $84,591, up 50 percent from 2010. The sale of the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt for $570 million last year was the most expensive sale in the country.
In Riverside County, investors picked up 24 hotels last year, up 71.1 percent from 2010. The transaction volume rose to $100 million last year from $23.6 million in 2010. On a per-room basis, the county's median price fell 23.9 percent to $39,530. The 410â€room Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel was the most expensive sale in the county, at $50.5 million.
Atlas forecast a continued increase in hotel sales and prices this year.
Call staff writer Eric Wolff at 760-303-1927, follow him on Twitter at ericwolff, or find energy stories on Facebook at http://nctim.es/xXxAuI.
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