Office, multifamily properties targeted in less traditional locales
To be more specific, Schear added, "They would be very satisfied with a decent garden apartment product in the 200- to 300-unit range, something they could upgrade."
One doesn't find too many garden apartments in the Big Apple, although Israelis have tended in the past to be very New York-centric. In the past five years, Israeli investors have spread out, down the Atlantic Coast and into California.
"The Israelis are in markets boasting relatively strong employment," Schear said. "They like Atlanta and places where there are state universities." Plus, they are willing to buy in cities such as Raleigh, N.C., and Columbia, S.C., to spread risk, he said.
This puts the Israelis at odds with most other foreign investors who tend to stick to the same big cities.
Optimism about U.S. real estate markets is definitedly focused on some hot spots, Fetgatter noted. "New York and Washington, D.C., are at the top of the list. What's new about that is foreign investment is so clearly focused on these two cities almost to the exclusion of everywhere else.
"The gap between New York and D.C. and the rest of the cities in the United States -- even the usual suspects like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago -- was extremely wide in 2010."
Asked if Israelis were interested in investing in single-family homes, Schear said he's heard about some investors who were trying to accumulate portfolios of homes, but he, himself, has not been involved in any of those deals.
To find those investors, brokers need to do what they always do: Locate somebody or some group -- lawyers, brokers or the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce -- that has access to those potential buyers.
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade," has been ranked as a top-selling real estate investment book for the Amazon Kindle e-reader.
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