Foreign Investors Find Trophy Properties in Unlikely U.S. Cities

Foreign Investors Find Trophy Properties in Unlikely U.S. Cities

U.S. properties in places like Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and the suburbs of Atlanta have all drawn foreign investment this year as buyers look for growth outside the biggest U.S. metro areas.

Canadian investors topped the list of foreign buyers of U.S. real estate this year, as they have for a decade. Among those was Toronto-based Starlight Investments, which purchased apartment complexes in the suburbs of Atlanta and Phoenix through its U.S. fund “There were really only a handful of people when we first started looking at the suburbs, and that handful is now a larger number of people that are looking at those deals,” said Raj Mehta, global head of private capital and partnerships at Starlight. “We were increasingly seeing that jobs were moving from traditional Northeast and Northwest corridors into the sunbelt states.”

In the major markets of New York, San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, commercial rents are already reaching record heights, and there’s less room to grow, so some foreign real estate investors are putting money into the next-best markets where they see yields rising.

Canada, China and Germany were the top foreign investors in U.S. commercial real estate this year and are making more deals outside the biggest metro areas, according to data from CBRE. The most popular second-tier markets for foreign capital this year include Dallas, California’s Inland Empire and Philadelphia. Read more

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