Dubai: For Middle Eastern commercial real estate funds and investment firms, the US real estate market is still the most desirable destination.
According to Roxanne Kosberg, CEO of Cityfirst Realty, “Investors from the Middle East continue to target core assets in safe-haven locations. The recent decline in oil price only strengthened the case for investors to diversify their income streams, both in terms of asset and geographical diversification.”
In 2019, South Florida recorded an all-time high of 71 per cent sales achievement from foreign buyers, of which 11 per cent came from the region.
Most of their investments range from $1 million to $50 million plus on residential and commercial properties located in Miami Dade County.
Florida is one of the top travel destinations in the world, relying on tourism to drive its economy more than any other US state. As of 2019, Florida had the fourth-largest economy in the UnS behind California, Texas, and New York with a gross domestic (GDP) product of $1.1 trillion and a $91.1 billion budget.
There's the connectivity
Flight connectivity between the Middle East and South Florida also helped accelerate real estate demand. The growing volume of property investments has largely been driven by sovereign wealth funds. Some of the most notable Middle East sourced investments include the $65 million sale of the Viceroy Miami hotel to Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company and Kuwait based KFH.
There was also the $120 million purchase of the newly built Modera Town Centre Apartments in Miramar, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s acquisition of the Miami Beach Edition hotel for $230 million in late 2015. Notably, the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour was acquired by a Gulf-based group in 2014 for $213 million.