Transaction frequency of properties is regarded as an important leading indicator of the expected general conditions of local, regional and national economies. By monitoring transaction levels, market participants are able to form market expectations, assess prices and develop investment strategies. This study examines the underlying factors that affect the probability of office property sales occurring from period to period.

We analyse a large and rich dataset of real estate transactions in the UK from 1980 to 2014. We examine the drivers of transaction frequency and link it to market fundamentals and alternative investment asset performance.

In particular, we test for the effects of local economic factors, type of buyer and financial markets performance.

We find important effects of the local economy as well evidence of transmission dynamics between direct real estate markets and other financial markets. We also find significant effects showing that foreign investors seem to pay more for properties.