At long last, many real estate attorneys are seeing transactions — not just workouts and defaults — increase, with property sales figures coming in much higher in the first quarter of 2010 than a year ago. Investors, impatiently waiting for the foreclosure fire sale that hasn’t materialized, are instead putting their trust back into solid properties.

First-quarter transaction volume and prices showed increases, according to a few market indicators, including January’s 1 percent increase in the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index. Large-scale property sales in February rose 26 percent on a year-over-year basis, and March saw more than $3.4 billion in closed deals, far surpassing totals from first quarter 2009, according to a recent report by Real Capital Analytics. Another $11 billion of property is reported under contract, the report says.

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