HFF Records Banner Year

HFF has announced its year-end results, revealing its highest transaction volume and highest number of annual transactions.
Mark Gibson of HFF
Mark Gibson of HFF

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

It was quite a year for HFF Inc. and the numbers tell the story. The commercial real estate and capital markets services provider outdid itself with record results, including an estimated transaction volume exceeding $76 billion.

HFF announced the unaudited year-end results for its operating partnerships, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. and investment banking arm HFF Securities L.P., marked not only its highest transaction volume, but its highest number of annual transactions as well. Volume totaled approximately $76.3 billion, to be a bit more precise, and the transaction numbers tallied up at roughly 2,197, spanning the company’s debt placement, investment sales, equity placement and loan sales capital market platforms.

In a prepared statement, Mark D. Gibson, CEO of HFF, attributes the company’s success last year to “the incredibly talented individuals comprising the HFF team.” However, there’s more to the company’s 2015 achievements. The numbers certainly say something about HFF, but they also say something about the national real estate market.

“HFF’s 2015 production volumes, and by implication its fourth quarter performance, are evidence that an increasing amount of capital continues to flow into U.S. commercial real estate, and specialist intermediaries like HFF continue to capture more market share by recruiting and retaining high quality professionals,” Brandon Dobell, group head–global services with investment banking and asset management firm William Blair & Co., told CPE. “Fourth quarter production volumes for both investment sales and debt origination in our view illustrate the health of commercial real estate even in an environment where short-term interest rates increased and showcases the increasing productivity of HFF’s transaction professionals.”

HFF’s estimated transaction volume and number of transactions may be adjusted upon completion of the review and audit of fourth quarter and year-end results; however, as it currently stands, the figures mark a year-over-year increase of 18 percent and 20 percent, respectively. As for 2016, the predictions are in.

“2016 isn’t likely to see the market grow as fast as it did in 2015, but we continue to expect HFF’s professionals will take market share from competitors that don’t share the depth and breadth of market and property type knowledge or the relationships with buyers and sellers that HFF’s producers have built,” Dobell concluded.