Foreign investors sold more U.S. commercial real estate than they bought in the first half of the year, marking the first time since 2012 that they became net sellers.
During the first six months of 2019, foreign investor acquisitions totaled $21.3 billion, while sales came to $21.4 billion, according to the latest edition of the U.S. Cross-Border Investment Compendium, published by Real Capital Analytics.
“The decline in acquisitions is not a sign of a whole class of investors writing off the U.S. Rather, the high-ticket-price deals that these investors pursue are becoming more challenging to execute”
Foreign acquisition volume declined by 37 percent in the second quarter, versus the comparable quarter a year ago. “The pullback was not a function of capital from one region halting purchases,” writes Jim Costello, a Real Capital Analytics senior vice president. “Buyers from each major region of the world were active. Most, however, simply purchased less than last year.”
But the sky is not falling, Costello asserts. “For the 12 months through [the second quarter of] 2019, the total cross-border investment level was down from recent highs but still at a healthy level of activity,” he writes. “The decline in acquisitions is not a sign of a whole class of investors writing off the U.S. Rather, the high-ticket-price deals that these investors pursue are becoming more challenging to execute.”
By Edmund Mander