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.
A total of 161,875 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2019, down 23 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q1 2008.
Zillow is reporting this week that a limited U.S. housing inventory and rapid price appreciation have kept sellers firmly in the driver's seat for several years as the United States recovered from the housing market collapse in 2008.