Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Foreign Investors Prepared to Spend More in 2009

Foreign investors in real estate expect to spend significantly more in '09 than they did in '08, according to the 17th annual survey of members of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE). Compared to transactions completed by October 2008, foreign real estate lenders say they plan to increase lending by 54% globally and by 58% in the U.S. Equity investors plan to increase investment activity by 40% globally and by 73% in the U.S. Survey respondents hold approximately one trillion dollars of real estate, including $371 billion in the U.S. Respondents again ranked the U.S. as the country providing the most "stable and secure" real estate investments, by a wide margin at 53%. Germany and Switzerland tied for second most stable at 11.3%, Tied for 3rd were Australia and Canada, each with 4.8%. Half of the top 10 global cities favored by foreign investors are in the U.S., a shift from last year's survey where half of the top 10 cities were in Asia. Washington, D.C. reclaimed it status as the top global city for foreign investors' real estate dollars, deposing New York City, which was third is a close ranking with second-ranked London. Tokyo and Shanghai ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. When asked about best opportunity for asset appreciation, the U.S. was also named first with 37% of the votes. Brazil jumped 10 places into the #2 spot, replacing China, which dropped to #3, followed by the U.K. (up from 9th) and India (which fell from 3rd). Other key findings included that apartments were the preferred U.S. investment property, followed by office, industrial, retail and hotel, a shift from office being most preferred the past two years. Also, nearly 75% said a U.S. property’s “green” features influenced their purchase decision and were worth a rental premium. Survey respondents reported that finding attractive U.S. investment properties is becoming less difficult. Read a detailed summary of the findings.

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