Brokerage M&A activity will be ‘good, not great’ in 2017 -- here’s why

Main players and advisers are preparing for a strong 2017, but buyers will be selective
  • Two big players, Realogy and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, are actively looking for acquisitions.
  • Also in the mix with strong expansion plans are Pacific Union International and Howard Hanna.
  • Active M&A players are mainly interested in big independent brokerages in cities such as Chicago, Florida, Seattle and elsewhere on the West Coast.

The market for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the real estate industry was very strong from mid-2013 to mid-2016 — and then it cooled off. “I think for 2017 across the country, we will have a good, but not great, year in M&A activity,” said Steve Murray, President of Real Trends Consulting, which specializes in valuation and mergers and acquisitions.