Report: Foreign Investors Turning To U.S. Industrial Property

Foreign investors are increasingly buying up logistical and industrial properties as part of their American real estate holdings, according to a recent report by JLL.

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Foreign investors are increasingly buying up logistical and industrial properties as part of their American real estate holdings, according to a recent report by JLL.

The Chicago-based commercial real estate and investment firm found that foreign involvement in the U.S. real estate market returned to pre-recession levels, particularly because investors view the country as a safe haven amid a weaker global economy.

"Sturdy, stabilized GDP and post-recession job growth has offered cross-border investors a reprieve from the uncertainty of the Eurozone, as well as the laggard growth in emerging countries," the report said.

The focus on logistical and industrial locations, however, represents a new development, the report said. Analysts pointed to the recent sales of IndCor Properties for $8.1 billion and KTR for $5.9 billion, the largest sales ever among that class of assets.

The report predicted larger transactions would "continue to ramp up."

In addition, the study said industrial assets are no longer viewed as inefficient sources of capital, and that many new properties serve "future leaning industries such as e-commerce."

In recent years, Canada was the largest source of foreign capital in the U.S. industrial market, followed by Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the U.K. The report predicted increased involvement from Asia would alter the composition of foreign capital in the U.S. and lead to an increase in overall market activity.

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