So far this year Chinese companies have either bought or are planning to buy 47 U.S. properties.
Those 47 properties are worth a total of $9.3 billion, making China the largest foreign buyer of U.S. property, the Wall Street Journal reports. Last year the country had 71 deals in the U.S. worth $6 billion. In just the first four months of 2016, that value has already gone up by 55%.
One high-profile transaction included China Life Insurance Group Co. (LFC), which reportedly paid $1.65 billion for an unspecified piece of equity in a Manhattan office building. Tenants include law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and UBS Group AG (UBS), which rents out about half of the building and has renewed its contract through 2032.
Chinese investors have been inspired to search for overseas deals as their own economy at home remains unstable. “They’re parking more capital in safe locations in the West,” Jim Costello, senior vice president at deal tracker Real Capital Analytics, told the Journal.
Though investments from Chinese investors are on the up, investments overall have decreased. Commercial property investments in the first four months of 2016 have been worth $135.9 billion, down $35.5 billion from the same period last year. There’s speculation that this is because U.S. investors are wary of putting their money into real estate. Because values have been rising since 2009, some think they may level off and possible even start to fall.