Cross-border real estate investment involving a foreign buyer or seller is a rising trend, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle. The report analyzed direct cross-border transactions in the office, retail and warehousing sectors during 2001.

Last year, cross-border real estate investment in these three sectors totaled 18.4 billion euros — 34% of the total European real estate investment of 54.2 billion euros, but 10% lower than the record high of 24.7 billion euros in the year 2000.

But Jones Lang LaSalle believes that cross-border real estate investment will continue to increase. "The drop in this proportion is consistent with the observation that investors focus capital on home markets more than foreign markets during times of market uncertainty," the report states. Also, the report points out that the level of cross-border transactions in 2000 was substantially higher than the cross-border activity in 1998 and 1999.

Cross-border investment by country

According to the report, the United Kingdom and France attracted the most cross-border capital. Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain each attracted more than 10% of cross-border capital in 2001.

In 2001, Jones Lang LaSalle itself advised on more than 700 real estate sales and acquisitions across Europe that was worth 13.2 billion euros. Of this total, 7.4 billion euros was direct cross-border real estate transactions.

Jones Lang LaSalle represented a wide-range of cross-border investors from several countries. "German (24%), United Kingdom (24%), American (15%) and Dutch (15%) investors collectively represented three-quarters of direct cross-border capital invested in 2001," the report states.