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SCT

Overseas investors turn net sellers of commercial real estate in 1H

August 30, 2019

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.

Total foreign investor acquisitions totaled $21.3 billion, while their sales totaled $21.4 billion during the first six months of 2019, 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, compared to the same period a year ago. “The pullback was not a function of capital from one region halting purchases,” writes Real Capital Analytics senior VP Jim Costello. “Buyers from each major region of the world were active. Most, however, simply purchased less than last year.”

The sky is not exactly falling, however, Costello points out.

“For the 12 months through Q2 2019, the total cross-border investment level was down from recent highs but still at a healthy level of activity,” he wrote. “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

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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