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Foreign Investment in U.S. Commercial Assets Spike in 2018

According to new research by global property consultant CBRE, more commercial real estate investment capital crossed U.S. borders in both directions during H1 2018, with foreign inflow up by 29% from the first half of 2017, and U.S. outflow up by 15% in H1 of 2018.

On net, the U.S. commercial real estate market had a capital surplus of roughly $12 billion. Savvy foreign investors have several strategies to mitigate foreign exchange risk when acquiring U.S. assets, one of which is purchasing forward contracts to hedge against U.S. dollar depreciation.

French company Unibail-Rodamco’s acquisition of Westfield, which included a $7.7 billion shopping mall portfolio, elevated inbound capital flows from REITs and France, as well as foreign retail acquisitions, to record highs.

CBRE further reports the cost of hedging against U.S. dollar depreciation is rising worldwide, reducing effective yields for many foreign investors, despite the continuing attractiveness of the U.S. market in growth and liquidity terms. Inbound capital flows have eased in the past 24 months, providing more opportunities for domestic investors.

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