Crossing borders: Foreign investment in the United States is a growing factor in the real estate market
Foreign investors have always been active in the United States, but recent years have attracted new players to U.S. gateway cities. The primary differences are the types of investors, with new players such as sovereign wealth funds, and their new investment goals. Some need to look beyond their borders because their home markets are unable to absorb the amount of capital they want to put to work in real estate; others are seeking a better investment environment.
Foreign investment activity in the United States totaled nearly $90 billion in direct property acquisitions in 2015, compared with $42 billion in 2014, $35 billion in 2013 and $28 billion in 2012. In late 2015, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate surveyed members from 21 countries and found 64 percent planned to increase their investments in U.S. real estate and 31 percent planned to maintain or reinvest their current investments.
Much of the press has been focused on the large increases in capi