Quick Takeaways

  • Global foreign direct investments (FDI) have surpassed their pre-COVID levels, up 77%
  • “Developed” areas like Europe saw as much as an 80% increase, while still-developing areas saw closer to a 30% increase
  • In the United States, which is considered the “largest host economy” investments rose by a staggering 114%

Source: Global Foreign Direct Investment Rebounded Strongly in 202, but the Recovery is Highly Uneven (United Nations Conference of Trade and Development, Jan. 19, 2022)

COVID-19 upended the foreign real estate market, but the opening of borders in many countries has created new demand in some interesting markets. In the United States, the  Mountain West beat out last year’s sunbelt cities, with Salt Lake City, Boise, and Spokane taking the top three spots. The Carolinas and Florida continue to hold spots in the top ten, and secondary markets remain king, though California was noticeably missing from the list.

As foreign investors return to the United States, post-COVID trends are beginning to emerge. Like U.S. investors, secondary cities, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt are drawing a great deal of attention, but coastal areas like California, New York City, and Florida are still the top draw. However, foreign investors may face some major changes if President Biden’s Build Back Better Bill passes.

There are plenty of options for savvy U.S. investors looking to invest abroad. There are a great deal of Asian markets outside of China that are poised for growth, as well as many Central and South American cities. As always, Real Estate International Trusts (REITs) are a great way to diversify your portfolio!

See References for more information.

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