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China Still Bullish on U.S. CRE Despite 2017 Nosedive

Speculation that Chinese investments into the U.S. were headed for a nosedive when China’s State Council implemented a framework regulating outbound investments in August 2017, was in fact, founded, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield. The firm’s experts, however, emphasize that Chinese capital will continue to be a force in U.S. markets.

The 2017 China’s inbound investment in U.S. commercial real estate dropped 55% to $7.3 billion. That compares to the country’s feverous buying spell in 2016 that totaled $16.2 billion. The total volume of deals over $1 billion was down 75% year-over-year (YoY) in 2017. By contrast, the total volume of deals under $250 million fell just 12%.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Marc D. Renard says, “Over the past 12 months, we have experienced a significant transition of the type of capital we are interacting with from China for investments in Los Angeles. Previously the capital was primarily the large state-controlled conglomerates. Today, it is for the most part very high net worth individuals.”

– Los Angeles metro volumes were down just 1% across all investors in 2017. Acquisitions by Chinese investors, however, declined 67% YoY on the back of a 90% decline in hotel volumes.
– Meanwhile, office acquisitions rose to their highest annual level on record, except for the outlier year of 2014, despite CBD office transactions in the overall market declining 42% YoY.
– Industrial volumes were higher than in any year except 2015, while apartment volumes posted a new record.
– New York and San Francisco alone received two-thirds of every Chinese dollar invested.


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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