US Dominates Global Cities for Real Estate Investment

Technological change will determine which cities will outperform, Cushman & Wakefield says

New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey. New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey.

Global property investment rose by 4% in the year to June to $1.5 trillion, reflecting improved sentiment in 2017, Cushman & Wakefield reported Thursday.

According to the firm’s annual survey of global commercial real estate investment activity, high interest from regional buyers drove growth.

It said the economic background for real estate was now more encouraging than many analysts had anticipated, with the International Monetary Fund having raised global growth forecasts for the first time since 2011.

The U.S. dominated the survey’s ranking of global cities for investment, but Asian markets made the most impressive gains in the past year.

Thanks to increased interest in buying land for development, Asian markets grew by 24.6%. By comparison, European and North American markets experienced declines of 11% and 7.5%.

Although the top 25 gateway cities in the survey declined by 120 basis points, they remained dominant with nearly 50% of the market. Half the cities in the top 10 underwent volume declines over the past year; now the 10 cities represent just 29.5% of total volumes, down from 32.9%.

New York maintained its position as the most sought-after market for the sixth consecutive year, according to the survey. The other cities in the top 10 were Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dallas, Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Atlanta and Shanghai.

London saw volumes fall by 25%, and was bumped from the top three by San Francisco, while number nine Atlanta displaced Tokyo, which fell to number 11.

London continued as the most attractive city for international investors, but several German cities rose in the rankings: Berlin to number five and Frankfurt to number seven. Number two New York and number three Paris were popular rivals to the British capital.

The survey found that sector concentration was highest in the office sector, with 61% of all office transactions occurring in the top 25 cities. Multifamily followed, with 49% of volumes in the gateway cities.

The report said a key factor determining which cities would outperform was technological change. Developments such as virtual reality and big data will enable more rapid change, and will start shaping cities and tenant demand within months rather than years.

It said cities will need to be able to adopt smart designs in buildings and infrastructure, and have a strong focus on their target audience of talent and businesses.

Four things will facilitate this process, according to the report:

  • City connectivity, as the importance of linking families and businesses across borders grows
  • Supportive governance with integrated strategies
  • The size and quality of a city’s institutions
  • Access to services, healthy living and cultural appeal

--- Check out Top 10 Cities for Millennial Homebuyers on ThinkAdvisor.

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