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U.S. property is tops with foreign investors


Foreign real estate investors overwhelmingly ranked the U.S. commercial real estate market as their top choice for investment this year and viewed it as the best opportunity for price appreciation, Reuters reported, based on a survey of those investors.

When ranked among countries targeted for real estate investment in 2011, the United States drew four times as many votes as second-ranked Britain, according to an annual survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE).

About 65 percent of the survey respondents said the United States offered the best opportunity for price appreciation.

The selection of property types also shows that investors are not optimistic about a near-term recovery of U.S. employment, Reuters said.

Foreign investors ranked apartments first, retail second and hotels third. Office, a traditional favorite among institutional investors, was fourth, and industrial brought up the rear.

The survey respondents hold more than $627 billion of real estate globally, including $265 billion in the United States.

About 72 percent of the respondents said they plan to increase investment in the United States in 2011.

New York and Washington were viewed as the top U.S. markets, followed by Boston.
Rounding out the rankings of countries for investment, Germany came in third. China moved up to fourth from fifth last year and France dropped to fifth from a tie for third place with Germany last year.

Among emerging markets, Brazil displaced China as the top choice. Russia, which had been among the top five emerging markets in the last two years, dropped to 10th place.

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