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For the first time since in the 21-year history of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), four of the five cities selected by the members as the top global cities for their investment dollars are in the U.S. The top five global cities are: New York, London, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston.

AFIRE member firms have an estimated $2 trillion or more in real estate assets under management globally.

The survey, completed during Q4 by the association’s near 200 members in Q4 2012, reveals an overwhelming confidence in US real estate.

With 55 per cent of the vote, the U.S. is ranked first for providing opportunities for capital appreciation. Brazil, ranked second, received only 17 percent of the vote.

Eighty-one percent of respondents declared that they plan to increase their U.S. portfolio with 31 percent planning a "major” increase. Not a single respondent reported plans to decrease their U.S. portfolios. Seventy-one agree that will make secondary markets in the U.S. will become more desirable in 2013 due to improving fundamentals.

The measure by which the U.S. dominated the survey is overwhelming, with 55 percent of votes. That Canada, the second-ranked country, achieved only 18 percent of the vote shows that the U.S. is clearly regarded as providing the most stable and secure real estate investment opportunities. When compared to 2009s tally of 43%, we are left with a very clear indicator of the U.S.’ continued recovery from the global economic crisis.

As such, while most reported that their perspective on the future of the U.S. real estate market has not changed in the previous year, thirty-nine percent of survey respondents declared a more optimistic perspective, and the 33 percent of respondents who expressed a pessimistic outlook have all but disappeared.

"The dominance of U.S. cities among investors’ “Top Global” choices, with four of the five being in the U.S., evidences the U.S. as the most transparent, professional, and liquid real estate market in the world,” said Christoph A. Kahl, Chairman, JAMESTOWN US-Immobilien GmbH and the newly elected chairman of AFIRE. “Particularly  as compared to other countries, population growth in the U.S. will be a major driver for long-term capital appreciation and  is one of the reasons why the institutional investment community worldwide favors the U.S. for its real estate allocations.”

Countries Providing the Most Stable and Secure Real Estate Investments

  1. U.S.A. (#1 last year)
  2. Canada (#2 last year)
  3. Germany (#3 last year)
  4. Australia (#4 last year)
  5. United Kingdom (#5 last year) tied with Sweden (unranked last year)
Top Global Cities
  1. New York (#1 last year)
  2. London (#2 last year)
  3. San Francisco (#5 last year)
  4. Washington, D.C. (#3 last year)
  5. Houston (unranked last year)
Top U.S. Cities
  1. New York (#1 last year)
  2. San Francisco (#3 last year)
  3. Washington, D.C. (#2 last year)
  4. Houston (#7 last year)
  5. Boston (#4 last year)


Matt Skinner is a journalist and content editor for PropertySales.com. Matt also writes for other titles in the Dynamis stable, including BusinessesForSale.com and FranchiseSales.com, as well as being an occasional contributor to, Talk Business magazine and Start Your Business Magazine.