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DC Falls To Its Lowest-Ever Ranking In Latest Foreign Investment Survey


Washington, DC, is no longer one of the top five US cities for foreign investment, according to AFIRE's latest report.

The nation's capital ranked sixth in the US, its lowest spot since AFIRE began the survey 25 years ago, behind New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.  

DC, which dropped two spots in the ranking from last year, was leapfrogged by Seattle and Boston. AFIRE CEO Jim Fetgatter told Bisnow he believes the drop is more a reflection of investors feeling bullish on Boston and Seattle, two cities with vibrant high-tech markets, than being bearish on DC. 

Fetgatter also said the high barrier to entry in DC, with relatively little product on the market and high costs, could be causing investors to look elsewhere.


"It is still on foreign investors' target list of places to look," Fetgatter (above) said. "I just think that some of the investors are having problems finding product in DC."

The District also dropped seven spots in the global rankings to No. 15. New York topped the global list, followed by Berlin, London, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Foreign investors are still a main driver behind DC's office building sales, with dozens of big investments in recent years. Tokyo-based Unizo bought five DC properties in 2016, most recently a $148M purchase of Capital View from Clark Enterprises

"If you’re a new investor coming into the US, especially if you’re from Asia in particular, you are going to be a little more cautious," Fetgatter said. "You are going to go to a much more tried-and-true investment and therefore Washington will definitely be attractive to you."

Related Topics: AFIRE, Jim Fetgatter