Commercial-property sales in the US this year are forecast to fall to the lowest in almost two decades as the industry endures its worst slump since the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s.

About $16bn of office transactions will be completed by year-end, according to data compiled by Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York research firm that has tracked deals for almost a decade. Real Capital Managing Director Dan Fasulo and Sam Chandan, chief economist of Real Estate Econometrics, said that may be the lowest volume since at least 1991.

'There’s no real way to sugarcoat it,' Fasulo said in an interview. 'A slowdown of this magnitude certainly hasn’t occurred since I’ve been in the business.'