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Global Investment Volume Flat, But The U.S. Remains A Real Estate Sweet Spot

While real estate investment volume around the world hasn’t changed much since 2017, the U.S. has proven to be an industry highlight.

Despite signs of growth at the beginning of 2018, global investment volume dropped 3.2% in Q2 from the year prior. Sales volume for first half of 2018 matched that of 2017, according to CBRE, but this isn’t necessarily an indicator of a looming downturn.


“Flat is not necessarily a bad thing,” Real Capital Analytics Senior Vice President Jim Costello told Bisnow in July.

The Americas region showed stronger numbers than Europe, Asia or markets in the Middle East. Commercial real estate investment in the Americas saw a 2.2% increase in sales volume growth for the first half of 2018, with both quarters posting $118B in volume, 95% of which came from the U.S.

The U.S. industrial sector continues to drive sales volume in the Americas, as demand for the asset class remains high. Nearly 59M SF of industrial space was absorbed across the U.S. in Q2, and only 49M SF of new product was delivered. The overall industrial market’s 7.2% vacancy rate is the lowest rate recorded by CBRE since Q4 2000.

Volume in Asian Pacific markets was down just over 3% for the first half of 2018. While investors still flock to Hong Kong for trophy assets, sales momentum is expected to dwindle due to factors like unfavorable lending conditions in Singapore and Australia and a potential deepening of the Chinese-U.S. trade war

Investment volume in European, African and Middle Eastern markets was down nearly 2% the first half of 2018 compared to last year, but CBRE cautions this figure is largely tied to Blackstone’s $14B sale of Logicor, its former European logistics company, to China Investment Corp. Without the close of that sale, CRBE reports positive investment sales growth in the Netherlands, Norway and even in the U.K. (thanks to Asian investors appetite for London assets).