Only the Best? Exploring Cross-Border Investor Preferences in US Gateway Cities

Steven Devaney, David Scofield, Fangchen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Despite heady growth in cross-border investment into commercial real estate over recent decades, there are few studies that examine differences in investment preferences between domestic and cross-border investors at a micro level. We address the gap by examining the characteristics of assets acquired by cross border investors in six major US metro areas, comparing them with the purchases made by US investors in those same areas. Our study uses data on more than 67,500 transactions recorded by Real Capital Analytics (RCA) over the period from Q1 2003 to Q3 2016. As well as examining cross-border investors in aggregate, we isolate and examine purchases by investors from each of the four principal source nations for cross-border real estate investment in these cities. This is important since treating cross-border investors as a single group may obscure important differences between them. We employ multilevel logit techniques and we find across a number of specifications that cross-border investors prefer larger assets, newer assets and CBD locations regardless of nationality. However, temporal and sectoral patterns of investment, as well as evidence for return chasing behavior, vary with the nationality of investor being studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-513
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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