Foreign investors flocked to the United States in 2021 as COVID-19 travel restrictions eased, leading to a boom in commercial real estate. Investments by foreign nationals in the sector have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by 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 turned their attention 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, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Investors also shifted their target markets, focusing on the Sunbelt and smaller coastal city markets last year.
“It’s a different world,” Riaz Cassum, global head of international capital coverage for JLL, a commercial real estate firm, told 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.”