Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Foreign Investors Favor US Real Estate

Foreign investors prefer America's real estate market most in the whole world, University of Wisconsin-Madison research shows. The U.S. was the top choice of 63 percent of respondents in a 2007 survey of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate members by the UW-Madison Center for Real Estate. But association members, whose global holdings total $601 billion, are eyeing India as a close second for plunking their money into, researchers found. A third hotspot: China.

"Our members are taking advantage of some of the opportunities inherent in emerging markets," association chairman Mark Preston said in the group's January/February newsletter.
Preston called the findings of his group's 15th annual attitude survey "the most global viewpoint our members have ever expressed."

UW Madison professor Francois Ortalo-Magne, who authored the survey report, said the global investors he polled are largely involved in office and retail property deals, not housing.

"But apartments are becoming more in favor. Last year, they ranked multifamily (housing) fifth in interest and this year, it's up to number two," Ortalo-Magne said. "But there are a number of very wealthy people who are active in housing markets all over the world."

Other research findings:
• Germans are the biggest investors in U.S. properties, lately joined by Austrians and Middle Easterners.
• Favorite cities: London, New York City (retaking U.S. primacy for the first time since Sept. 11), Paris, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo.
• Most investment portfolios are heavily weighted with holdings in the U.S, western Europe and the United Kingdom.