The number of commercial real-estate sales rose sharply in December, triggering fresh debate about whether the sector has reached bottom.

Property sales, a gauge of market health, rose 75% in December from the prior month, according to Real Capital Analytics. The end of the year traditionally sees an increase in volume. But the recent increase is significant even after adjusting for that, says Neal Elkin, president of REAL, a research firm that analysed the data.

The Moody's/REAL All Commercial Property Price Indices, or CPPI, which track values, measured a 4.1% increase in December. This followed an increase of 1% in November, which was the first time since 2007 that there were two consecutive months of rising values.

But Moody's and REAL agreed that it is too soon to conclude that the market has hit bottom.

Wall Street Journal