Research - MARCH 15, 2017

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China is largest source of foreign investors in U.S.

by Andrea Waitrovich

Chinese investors were the single largest group of foreign investors in U.S. commercial real estate in 2016, with deal volumes reaching a record high of $19.2 billion, up 10 percent from $17.3 billion in 2015, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield.

Chinese investors sought better returns overseas. Chinese investment made up about 29 percent of total foreign investment in U.S. commercial real estate, ahead of Canada, the second largest foreign investor, which invested $13.1 billion. Much of the investment in commercial real estate by China-based investors has been through mega-deals; 62 percent of the transactions in 2016 exceeded $1 billion.

In the past year, more than half of all investments by Chinese investors were by Chinese life insurance companies. Deals include Anbang Insurance Group, which closed on its $6.5 billion acquisition of Strategic Hotels & Resorts in September 2016, and China Life Insurance, which bought a portfolio of hotels from

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