A survey has revealed that the Middle-East investors have bought more than double the real estate properties in US in last 1 year. In 12 months to the end of September 2019, Middle east investors’ new investment in the US market has accounted for 15.4% of all global cross-border property investment. It is 7.2% growth from the earlier time frame. The largest Middle Eastern commercial investors were Bahrain-based Investcorp and the Qatar Investment Authority.
Real estate expert, KJ Vanderwerken, has said that this increase comes from the popular understanding among the Middle East investors that the American economy is stronger compared to the others. The dollar is expected to remain strong in 2020 so there is belief among investors that the US economy will outperform other developed nations over the short to medium term.
Due to the decline in interest rates in 2019, investors were motivated to double their investment in US properties. The top destinations for commercial investment were Manhattan, Dallas and Chicago, all considered the major hubs for economic activities in the states.
Middle East investors found real estate investment more attractive over investing in bonds due to the low rates of interest. Real estates are a long lived asset with a set of fixed payments on a regular basis. But unlike a bond, it has higher risks like asset depreciation and tenants leaving.
There is another narrative to the investment increase story. The Middle Eastern investors mainly the non-institutional investors like families, feel that the US market is safer than real estate investment in their region. They find it more comfortable in investing in the US where the asset is safe from conflict and the family can hold the legal title without losing it due to any kind of local issue.
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