The sale prices of U.S. office properties rose 4.3 percent in the second quarter, the first increase since the second quarter of 2007, according to a report from ratings agency Moody's.

The second-quarter increase is significantly different from what happened in the first quarter when office prices fell 18.6 percent. Neal Elkin, president of Real Estate Analytics, said he was convinced the second-quarter increase isn't just a temporary blip.

He said the improving economy is luring investors to commercial property and persuading companies to reconsider occupancy projections as office prices start to look cheap.

Overall, Moody's said commercial property transactions in June rose by 50 percent from May and that the total transaction volume more than doubled.

Source: Financial Times, Alan Rappeport (08/20/2009)