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How are Brexit 421A & EB-5 going to impact foreign investment in the US real estate market?

Dec 14, 2016

Panelists discuss the impact of Brexit, 421 A and EB-5 on foreign investment in the United States, and the effects of that capital on development in gateway cities.


James Nelson: Foreign investment has really been the saving grace. I think a lot of the domestic investors here have been kind of waiting on the sidelines at least this summer to see where things go. But all this uncertainty and Brexit, I think it's too early to tell, but New York and the other gateway cities have really become the safe haven for capital from around the world. And if you just look in New York City back in 2010, foreign investment accounted for about 15% of all the purchases on the institutional side. Now it's almost a third. So we've seen a lot of foreign appetite. The US on the whole, there is $20,000,000,000 in the first half of inflow of capital, and China gets a lot of the air time but Canada has consistently been the largest investor here - they bring in about 25% of the capital. Germany has been very active as of late, so has Korea and Australia. So that's been fantastic to see that we're having so much global appetite here in New York and other gateway cities.

Hugh Macdonnell: We think and believes that there's a strong trend that we will see of non-US capital continuing to come and want to invest in the US. A lot of it's quite targeted to a narrow group of markets, but we think that's going to continue and we think that over a sustained period of time actually will provide some underlying capital markets support. It’s also true I think that US institutional investors have slowed down in investing domestically and some of that is just simply the fact that they are at allocation, right? Real estate has performed very, very well relative to stocks and bonds. So there's some denominator-ish kind of issues that they're facing. But the non-US capital flows we think will continue over a really enduring period of time. Just because US real estate's performance relative to alternatives around the world is very, very good and projected to be so for a longer period of time.

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