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Report: Why LA Tops San Francisco In Foreign Investments

Los Angeles

LA has outranked San Francisco for the first time in eight years when it comes to foreign investment, according to a recent survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) in Washington, DC. We caught up with AFIRE CEO Jim Fetgatter to talk about the survey.


Jim tells us the big switch could be a result of crazy prices in The Bay. “I think there is a perception that San Francisco is getting very pricey,” he says. “I think there’s also probably, as we all keep reading, some concern that there are some bubbles arising in Silicon Valley that might give people some pause."

Jim says while San Francisco is a great market, it has also been "volatile over the history of commercial real estate.”

According to the AFIRE survey, LA ranked No. 3 in the “Top Five Global Cities,” compared to last year’s No. 10. LA was No. 2 in the category “Top Five US Cities,” up two places from last year.


While members are not questioned as to the reasoning behind their rankings, Jim says another factor that more than likely contributed to the results is the resurgence in Downtown LA.

“I think that’s got some people’s attention,” he says. “You already have some foreign investors in there, and I think the other thing is that industrial has been at the top of their product type for some time. Los Angeles is a huge port, and I mean that’s a driver of the economy at least in certain parts of Los Angeles.”

Some companies from Australia are also choosing to open offices in LA, Jim says.

The $200M Waldorf Astoria (here) being built at Wilshire and Santa Monica in Beverly Hills is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and will be the first on the West Coast.

AFIRE represents 200 major companies in 21 countries. The first survey was conducted more than 20 years ago.