In 2014, equity funds invested $7.4 billion in U.S. hotels

Lodging Econometrics reports that for hotels with a reported selling price, investment totaled $22 billion in the U.S., in 2014. Equity funds were the most active investors adding $7.4 billion in hotels, most of which were portfolio purchases. Publicly traded REITs were the next biggest acquirers, investing $6.4 billion, primarily focusing on high-profile single assets divested by privately held hotel companies.

Although on balance they were net-sellers in 2014, privately held hotel companies were also significant buyers, investing $4.4 billion, mostly in single assets and smaller portfolios. Publicly traded REITs were significant purchasers of large, high profile, single-asset Luxury and Upper Upscale hotels that only come to the market during periods of high liquidity. The demand for these assets from equity funds, REITS and privately held hotel companies caused a shift in the 2014 transaction mix.

For the first time in this cycle, more than 50 percent of all hotel transactions occurred in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale chain scales. LE said it expects that transaction volume will intensify and selling prices will continue to soar through the expansion phase and into the early part of the maturity phase of the current cycle, probably peaking one to two years ahead of industry profitability in 2018 or 2019.

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