RCA Insights

The #1 US Market for Cross-Border Buyers Is… Not Manhattan

By on May 20th, 2021

In the past, Manhattan would have been the leading U.S. market for cross-border investment, not so today. Manhattan has slipped to the #2 position in the 12 months through Q1 2021, the latest edition of the US Cross-Border Investment Compendium shows, with Seattle claiming the #1 spot.

Only once before has Manhattan not been the leading market for cross-border direct acquisitions of commercial real estate. That time was during the depths of the Global Financial Crisis when deal activity fell so sharply everywhere that cross-border deal volume was measured in the tens or hundreds of millions across markets rather than in the several billions.

top US markets cross-border deal volume and YOY change

This time around, some markets continued to see growth in cross-border investment activity during the Covid period. Cross-border investment activity fell in Seattle over the 12 months through Q1 2021, but less so than in Manhattan.

Manhattan has slipped so much in part due to the uncertainty over the office market. In years past, the large, core assets on offer in the Manhattan office market fit well with the investment objectives of many cross-border investors. Logistics assets are increasingly playing that role for cross-border investors.


Data analysis by Michael Savino

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Clients of Real Capital Analytics <<click here>> to download the latest US Cross-Border Investment Compendium from the RCA website. To learn more about how RCA’s reports, data and tools can inform your investment decisions, contact us.

Jim Costello

Jim Costello

Senior Vice President

Jim Costello has worked in the CRE space on issues of urban economics since 1990, including a 20-year stint at Torto Wheaton Research. Jim expanded the reach of the Torto Wheaton Research team developing forecasts of global market fundamentals. He also developed approaches to pair the forecast results with frameworks to answer investor questions on asset values and relative investment opportunities.

In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Jim provided advice to the Treasury Department and helped educate these professionals on commercial real estate performance. Jim is a member of the Commercial Board of Governors of the Mortgage Bankers Administration, where he helps policy makers understand the commercial real estate industry.

Jim is expanding the capabilities of the Real Capital Analytics team on issues of real estate market dynamics. Jim has a master’s degree in economics and is a member of the Counselors of Real Estate.