As an avid fan of TV, I can tell you the impact that the Globe has had on our viewing habits as Americans has been huge. Whether it be actual shows like Masterpiece Theatre, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and Benny Hill, or retreads of overseas classics like Three Company’s, the John Ritter hit of many years ago, and today’s The Office and American Idol, our international friends continue to lead the way on America’s small screen.
A similar global impact exists in the real estate investment community as well. A trigger for many in this country has always been the movement of money by international investors into the U.S. It is a signal to many savvy real estate investors that the market is ripe for opportunity. The signal is sounding right now, and it is sounding loud.
According to the results of a new survey recently released by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), foreign real estate investors projected their investments for the remainder of 2009 will substantially out-strip investments completed year-to-date. On the debt side, survey respondents say they expect to invest three times more than current investment levels year-to-date; equity investors expect they will place seven times more than current year-to-date investments.
Overall, three quarters of the survey respondents had not yet invested in 2009; however, more than two-thirds of them plan to invest some debt or equity in U.S. real estate before the end of the year.
Survey respondents continue to be optimistic in their investment projections. Thirty-one percent said they were more optimistic than at the beginning of the year; 16 percent said they were more pessimistic; and 53 percent said they felt about the same as at the beginning of the year.
Survey respondents also said that the office sector would recover first, followed by the multi-family and industrial sectors. This is a shift in investor perception from the results of 17th Annual Survey in which investors expressed an interest for multi-family over office buildings as the preferred property type for their real estate investment dollars.
History has shown that international investors are a terrific barometer for Americans looking to investing in U.S. real estate. The time to act is now.