Foreign investors bank on Dallas as No. 3 commercial market in U.S.

Unsurprisingly, Dallas is in the spotlight for overseas real estate investors targeting the US.

In a recent poll published by AFIRE, a real estate investor industry group, overseas real estate investors preferred Dallas over almost every other US city to buy real estate in 2021; it lands on number 3.

Boston took second place, and its Texan neighbor Austin came first. (Houston for # 14 and San Antonio for # 15.)

Dallas climbed several places from # 7 on AFIRE’s list of the most popular US commercial real estate investment markets last year, while Austin ranked 10th in 2020, Houston ranked 12th, and San Antonio was unrated.

“The 2021 survey, conducted in March 2021 and signed by Holland Partner Group, reflects investor sentiment and is designed to help understand the goals, challenges and impact of international investments on US real estate opportunities,” the report said.

This is the first time in the 30-year history of the AFIRE poll that a city as small as Austin has topped the list or made it to the top three. 23 percent of respondents ranked first in Austin, and 33 percent ranked first, second, or third in Austin.

“Commercial transactions are projected to increase in the second half of 2021 and 2022 as more people are vaccinated, more businesses operate at higher capacity, personal leisure and business travel increase, and consumer spending increases,” noted the National Association of Realtors in a first quarter report on the Austin commercial real estate market.

In this year’s AFIRE survey, foreign property investors chose apartment buildings as their preferred property type, followed by warehouses.

Overall, the outlook for investors is positive.

“Three out of four investors expect their volume of US real estate investments to increase in 2021, with six out of ten expecting sales to grow,” according to the AFIRE report. “Innovation, demographic forecasts, economic and geopolitical stability, and supportive investment policies will be key to the success of US real estate over the next decade.”