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Top 5 US Cities for Real Estate Investments


By Noble Carpenter, Executive Managing Director, Principal

NY City SkylineWould you be surprised to see that New York City was the No. 1 U.S. city for foreign investment in 2012?  Probably not.  But you might be astonished to see that when the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate’s, Annual Foreign Investment Survey was recently released, Houston was the No. 4 top U.S. city for foreign investment last year, underscoring the significance of the energy industry in our current economy. 

According to AFIRE’s chief executive, James A. Fetgatter, "The strong endorsement of both San Francisco and Houston by our members in this year's survey directly reflects the propensity for real estate investment to follow jobs, in this case, technology and energy, which are thought to be among the top drivers of the next economic wave. As other economic drivers emerge, it will not be surprising to see investors seek opportunities beyond the traditional New York and Washington, DC markets."

Top US Cities

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Houston
  5. Boston

On a more global scale, the list looks only slightly different, with New York City claiming No. 1 and London ringing in at No. 2.

Top Global Cities

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. San Francisco
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Houston

In a statement from Christoph Kahl, the newly elected chairman of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), "The dominance of U.S. cities among investors’ top global choices, with four of the five being in the U.S., evidences the U.S. as the most transparent, professional, and liquid real estate market in the world.”

What do you think will be the next economic drivers that will push real estate investors to seek opportunity beyond traditional markets?

Noble CarpenterNoble is the head of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Market’s business and is a member of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Executive Board. Prior to joining Cassidy Turley, he spent over 15 years at Jones Lang LaSalle in senior transactional and leadership roles in the US Capital Markets Group working closely with public and private institutional investors, developers and opportunity funds.


Great insight. Much appreciated. 
To answer this question one would need to understand what (in the context of this article) do you deem, is the "size" of the "traditional investor"?  
Are these statistics extrapolated from ONLY the major corporate investors or does it also include the smaller REITS.  
I assume, it does not include the private investors and /or the "mom and pops"? 
My assumption is - that the latter is not included? Kindly advice. 
Taxation and a given STATE'S financial position will increasingly have a bearing on where investors may choose or not to choose to invest.  
THis bodes the question however. Can one view such a possible tendency, as an "economic driver"? 
Again - thank you for the insight. 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:43 PM by Pierre de Kock
Hi, thanks for sharing this blog. Really its great to know about the top cities for real estate investments. Awaiting for more such informative blogs like this. 
Housing in Bhubaneswar 
Posted @ Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:20 AM by Sneha
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