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Cushman & Wakefield: Global Investors Now Liking Dallas, Dublin, Dubai – and Houston

cushman global chartMUNICH – New York attracted the most commercial real estate investment during the last year as the global real estate investment market saw volumes increase by 17.2% to $788 billion, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s annual ‘Winning in Growth Cities’ report launched today at EXPO REAL in Munich, Germany.

While a number of cities still dominate, activity is spreading to an increased number of global markets as investors relax their risk tolerance, Cushman & Wakefield said.

Houston saw US$13.1 billion invested in the year to Q2 2014. In addition, Los Angeles (US$33.1 billion) dropped into fourth place, with San Francisco completing the top five ranked cities at US$23.8 billion invested.

The top 10 cities for global investment changed little from last year, with the exception of Dallas moving into 9th. Shanghai, Beijing, Miami and Stockholm join the top 20, while Toronto, Singapore, Moscow and Seoul fall out. Dubai and Dublin saw significant change and leaped into the top 50 from 186th and 82nd position respectively. Top cities continue to be popular across multiple sectors with New York top in retail, multifamily and hospitality, London top for offices, Los Angeles top for industrial and Tokyo a top five market in retail, office and industrial.

The report also states competition to buy will continue to push up prices, with prime yields down 13 basis points globally to 7% last year and likely to at least match this in the year ahead.

Cross-border investment rose by 38.8% last year compared to an 11.3% growth in domestic spending, as international investors once again increased their market share. While Europe remains the biggest area for foreign investment, it saw a 35% growth in cross-border buying last year, growth has actually been more rapid in the Americas (46%) and Asia (43%), underlining the truly global nature of the marketplace.

London remains by far the most favored market with a 14.1% share versus 5.5% for Paris and 4.9% for New York. Overall, 13 of the top 30 are in EMEA, nine are in Asia, seven in North America and one in Latin America. The fastest growth was in Beijing, rising from 46th to 17th place, followed by Boston, Amsterdam, Madrid and Sao Paulo.

The biggest source of cross-border capital was the Americas, with US$75.3 billion invested non-domestically, while Europeans are the number two international buyer but a significant share of this is targeted within the region. American investors were the strongest players outside their own region last year, with US$58.7bn invested, 48% of the global total.

The fastest growing stream of international investment however has been Asian capital flowing out of the region. Asian global investment rose 56% last year compared to a 54% increase by American investors, 26% by Europeans and 13% by Middle Eastern and African players.

Typically, Asian players cross borders easily but much in the past has been within their own region. That has changed dramatically in recent years as Asian businesses have diversified abroad, focusing initially on gateway cities in the US and the UK but now spreading their net more widely, says the report.

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