- October 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 9

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Dollar signs: Currency moves help lift canny global real estate investors

by Megan Walters and Ankita Prasad

Real estate has seen increasing allocations from investors, as witnessed by a 9 percent rise in total transaction volumes in first half 2015, when compared with the same period of 2014. Cross-border investment activity has reached a peak on a global basis. JLL’s global capital flows data shows about 50 percent of transactions this year have involved a nondomestic party, either as buyers or sellers. With cross-border capital flow volumes unlikely to diminish, currency movements have a significant impact on returns for real estate investors.

Foreign exchange was volatile in 2014, in part because of major central banks’ adoption of different economic policy changes. While the Federal Reserve had halted its quantitative easing program, the Bank of Japan still is pursuing its policy, and the European Central Bank is buying German and Italian government bonds. Given the size of the U.S. market and the strengthening U.S. dollar, cross-border investments have been playing a more

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