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Foreign Investors Bullish on U.S. Real Estate Investment

new Jason stats graphic - June 2015Foreign investors remain bullish on U.S. real estate investment, according to a new survey that was conducted before Congress passed federal tax reforms that likely will  provide even greater inventive for foreign investment.

The annual survey of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) found that 64 percent of respondents intend to invest more in U.S. real estate in 2016 while 31 percent plan to keep foreign investment in the U.S. at the same level as last year, according to a CoStar News report.  None of the respondents said they planned to decrease U.S. real estate investments.

Globally, New York took the top spot for foreign real estate investment for the second year in a row, outranking London, while Los Angeles leaped into third place, up from 10th last year, in the survey of the 200-member AFIRE, which represents institutional real estate and other organizations with a combined estimate of more than $2 trillion in real estate assets under management, CoStar reported.

Seattle joined the top five U.S. cities for the first time, tying with Boston for fifth place, according to the news report.  Reflecting the downward spiral in oil prices that played a key role in Houston’s real estate and general economic slowdown, Houston dropped from the third position to the 11th position in the latest survey.  CoStar also reported that San Francisco dropped from second to third, although rental rates and property prices have continued to appreciate rapidly.

Washington, D.C., which tumbled from 10th to 15th place last year, placed well both globally and among U.S. markets, ranking 8th worldwide and fourth in the U.S., up from fifth in 2015.

The AFIRE survey was conducted late in the fourth quarter 2015 before Congress enacted wider tax exemptions for foreign investment in the U.S. under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, or FIRPTA, a 1980 bill that imposes income tax on foreigners disposing of U.S. real estate interests, CoStar said.  The tax reforms, which were adopted on December 18 as part of the federal appropriations bill, exempt qualified foreign pension funds and their entities from taxation under FIRPTA.

A key executive at AFIRE told CoStar the FIRPTA changes had been under considered in Congress for some time and foreign investors did not necessarily expect them to pass in 2015.  The changes will provide foreign investors a welcome relief from certain taxes and, in time, further incentive for U.S. real estate investment, James A. Fetgatter, chief executive officer of AFIRE, told CoStar.

Fetgatter noted that the most recent survey demonstrated strongest level of confidence in years about foreign investment in the U.S., even without the FIRPTA changes.

“We have a clearly recovering real estate market and the dollar is increasing. There are not a lot of roadblocks to worry about, like for example the immigration crisis in Europe, stock market fluctuations and a possible recession in China, and bubbles in the Brazil real estate market,” Fetgatter told CoStar.

For more information about Philly office space, Philly retail space or other Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) Leor Hemo (leor.hemo@wolfcre.com) or Lee Fein (lee.fein@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space and Philly retail space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly office space or Philly retail space with the Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.  As experts in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly office space or Philly retail space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need — a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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