Fourth Quarter 2019: 2019 Ends on a Whimper

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Onlyhotels in the New England region, and to a lesser extent the Midwest region, experienced a positive price momentum this quarter, although both regions suffered poor performance from a year-over-year perspective. Hotels located in gateway cities outperformed hotels in non-gateway cities. Hotel financial operating performance continued to post positive profit with operating profit exceeding both a hotel property’s operating costs and its financial (borrowing) cost based on economic value analysis (EVA). Although the price of large hotels increased in the fourth quarter (as compared to quarter three), the price of small hotels declined quarter to quarter, and the price of both large and small hotels fell on a year-over-year basis. It appears that the price of both types of hotels is reverting to their moving average. The cost of hotel debt financing remained flat this quarter, while the cost of equity financing declined. In terms of risk premiums, there was no change in the risk premium for hotels compared to the risk-free rate. Besides this, the relative risk premium that lenders require for hotels over and above other commercial real estate has narrowed, indicating that lenders aren’t demanding a higher compensation for originating hotel loans. However, the spread between the 10-year Treasury and the 3-month Treasury was flat in the current period, which continues to raise concerns over its impact on market liquidity as well as its contribution to slower price growth in hotels. A reading of our tea leaves suggests that large hotels should be expected to decline in price. In contrast, the price of smaller hotels is anticipated to rise. This is report number 33 of the index series.
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Cornell Hotel Indices; economic value analysis (EVA); hotel prices; hedonic hotel index; gateway cities
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