Archives For Asia

GM Building

General Motors Building, Manhattan (Mario Tama/Getty Images via NPR)

Manhattan’s General Motors Building is a 50-story marble wonder, occupying a full city block at 5th Avenue and 59th Street. Considered one of the most valuable office towers in the United States, a large piece of the GM Building was purchased by a Chinese developer in May 2013––the latest example of how the U.S. real estate market is heating up for Asian investors.

From Park Avenue Plaza to the U.S. Bank Building, Asian investors are purchasing premier properties from New York to Los Angeles including office towers, luxury hotels, and high-street retail. According to Dan Fasulo, the managing director of Real Capital Analytics, foreign investment from Asian countries has totaled about $7 billion in 2013 so far, already almost doubling last year’s total of $4.3 billion.

For many, this surge is reminiscent of the late ’80’s, when Japanese investors made a succession of high-profile, inflated purchases from Rockefeller Center to Pebble Beach Golf Course, and were subsequently hit with big losses as the market crumbled soon after. But this new wave of investors have done their homework, says Christopher Ludeman, head of Global Capital Markets at CBRE Group.

The Chinese in particular do a tremendous amount of research and are careful investors, he says. This new wave is mindful of the Japanese experience but ultimately they are investors flush with cash who are ready to diversify––and the U.S. market is looking pretty good.

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