Israelis eye low-risk U.S. real estate

Office, multifamily properties targeted in less traditional locales

Back in the heady year of 2007, the amount of foreign investment in U.S. real estate totaled $40 billion. Two years later, after the subprime blow-up, Wall Street crash, recession and rampant foreclosures, foreign investment plummeted to $4 billion.

According to Real Capital Analytics, 2010 marked a return of foreigners to American real estate as investment doubled to $8 billion — and a lot of that capital, like goose migrations, came south from Canada.

To get those numbers, Real Capital Analytics scrutinizes major commercial real estate deals, which doesn’t include single-family home sales. But, it does include transactions involving multifamily properties, which are still proving very popular with foreign buyers.

In the past, opportunists looking to interest foreigners in U.S. property markets might have targeted the Germans, British and in years past the Japanese. Now, besides the Canadians, some newer players have emerged: South Koreans and Israelis.