Middle East top foreign investor in US property
- Last Updated: August 06. 2008 7:27PM UAE / August 6. 2008 3:27PM GMT
ABU DHABI // The Middle East has overtaken the rest of the world to become the largest foreign property investor in North America this year, according to research from the US.
Multimillion-dollar deals like the Abu Dhabi Investment Council’s 90 per cent purchase of Manhattan’s Chrysler Building for US$800 million (Dh2.9 billion), and Istithmar’s $750m purchase of the Fontainebleau Hilton on Miami Beach have seen the Middle East – and the Gulf in particular – overtaking more developed countries to become the largest foreign investor in the US property market, amid the country’s ongoing housing slump.
Middle Eastern buyers have already toted up at least $2bn in US property purchases so far this year, putting the region ahead of once heavy-hitting foreign buyers from Australia and Europe, according to the latest data from the US consultancy, Real Capital Analytics (RCA) in New York.
Far from signalling a major shift of Middle Eastern funds into the beleaguered US market, however, the trend is more a reflection of who has been hit hardest by the global credit crisis – and who has not.
“The credit crunch has been very democratic in affecting most buyers worldwide,” said Dan Fasulo, the managing director of RCA. “The lack of available debt has given cash-rich buyers an advantage in winning deals.” And that, he said, played to the strengths of oil-rich investors from the Middle East.
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