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American Real Estate Investors Eying Offshore Acquisitions, Says Study

Despite the weak dollar and a delicate geo-political climate, a survey released today finds that nearly two-thirds of American real estate professionals plan to invest in land outside the U.S. over the next 12 months. The Bryan Cave Real Estate Executives’ Forecast Survey shows that 62% of the professionals polled are determined to buy real estate abroad.

The study also found that 87% of the executives believe that U.S. real estate values will not take a dive over the next 12 months. Still, only 37% felt that U.S property values would continue to climb as steeply as they have in recent years. A full 54% of those surveyed believe that the U.S. property market is overvalued. Bryan Cave LLP—a Manhattan-based global law firm––polled roughly 200 commercial real estate professionals including brokers, lenders and mortgage bankers.

“The survey suggests that given the sign of a possible real estate bubble in the United States, investors are looking to protect themselves by expanding their investments abroad,” says Barry Ross, co-leader of Bryan Cave’s Real Estate Group.

“The finding of this international investment trend was further reinforced by the survey participants consistently identifying terrorism as one of their major concerns for 2005, with only interest rates, jobs and general economic growth listed more frequently,” adds Ross.

Roughly one third of the executives chose the Northeastern U.S. as their market of choice over the next 12 months. Another trend: for the second straight year, the executives were particularly interested in the metropolitan multifamily high-rise property sector. Indeed, more than 20% indicated that this property class is their first choice when it comes to investing over the next 12 months.

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