The number of upper upscale hotel transactions in the first half of 2018 rose 32.4 percent over the same time the previous year, according to STR’s Hotel Transaction Almanac.

THE VOLUME OF transactions made for U.S. hotels rose 11.3 percent during the first half of 2018 and price per room increased 12.2 percent, according to STR’s midyear update of the Hotel Transaction Almanac. Upper upscale transactions saw the greatest increases while upscale chains saw the worst declines.

There was more than $9 billion in deals from January to June 2017, and the average price per room was $196,000. During the same time period in 2018 there were $10.1 billion in transactions at $220,000 per room.

“Transaction volume and pricing are up, while cap rates have decreased from last year,” said Joseph Rael, STR’s director of consulting and analytics. “There seems to be more optimism around the industry right now, and that of course pushes more transactions activity. There are also several high-priced assets likely to be sold in the next few months, which will significantly boost average pricing for the remainder of the year.”

The number of transactions for upper upscale properties increased 32.4 percent while upscale transactions dropped 32.4 percent. The sale in June of the Sheraton Hotel Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona for $255 million and the January sale of the Fairmont Downtown San Jose in San Jose, California, for $223.5 million were the two highest overall transaction prices.

The most expensive price-per-room transactions were the still pending sales of the Plaza Hotel New York, New York, for $2.1 million and Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania, for $2 million. Florida and New York saw the most overall transactions during the time period, 24 and 25 respectively.