05/17/2022 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Global investment in U.S. real estate is at its strongest-ever level, with non-core markets and multifamily and industrial asset classes continuing to lead the charge in terms of investor interest, according to Gunnar Branson, CEO of AFIRE, the association for international real estate investors focused on commercial property in the U.S.

Speaking on the Nareit REIT Report, Branson noted that while there are certainly lots of concerns surrounding global events, “real estate investing is on a terrific pace in the first quarter.”

The top property asset class for institutional investors from around the world continues to be multifamily, Branson said, followed by industrial real estate. And while the office asset class will definitely continue to exist, questions remain about which offices are going to succeed, and which will have to rethink the level of capital investment that will be required to compete, he added.

Meanwhile, Branson noted that 81% of respondents in AFIRE’s 2022 International Investor Survey Report said they believe that the pandemic has permanently altered our culture and live-work preferences. “We don't know how that translates into real estate investing, but we do know it's changed. The change just happened. Now we have to catch up to it,” Branson said.

During the interview Branson also noted that continued strength will occur in non-core markets, with the Sun Belt continuing to perform “extraordinarily well.” However, the Sun Belt has also experienced an unfair proportion of climate change events, he added. As a result of these multiple forces, “there's no clear story. There's no one place or one asset that is going to obviously rise above the rest. It's requiring investors to consider multiple risks, multiple opportunities, and to be able to figure out what the best investment is,” he said.