Foreign investments

Foreign investment exceeds pre-pandemic levels

As COVID-19 travel restrictions began to be lifted last year, foreign investors flocked to U.S. commercial real estate. Foreign investment surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2021, according to a new report from Real Capital Analytics.

Foreign investors bought $70.8 billion worth of U.S. commercial real estate in 2021. That’s the highest total since 2018’s $94.6 billion.

The countries most represented in U.S. international business investment in 2021 were Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, according to the report.

Investors have shifted their focus in 2021 away from traditional investments like office buildings and hotels in big cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Instead, last year they were drawn to growth sectors like warehouses, rental apartments and specialty office buildings for pharmaceutical companies, The Wall Street Journal reports. Investors also shifted their target markets, focusing on the Sunbelt and smaller coastal city markets last year.

“It’s a different world,” said Riaz Cassum, global head of international capital coverage for JLL, a commercial real estate company. The Wall Street Journal. “You’re starting to see big institutional investors looking to Dallas, Charlotte, Denver, Nashville, Austin and other high-growth, low-tax markets.”