puerto vallarta real estate

Exclusive: Foreign property investors rank U.S. No 1

By Ilaina Jonas
NEW YORK | Mon Jan 3, 2011 8:07am EST

(Reuters) – Foreign investors overwhelmingly ranked the U.S. commercial real estate market as their No. 1 choice for investment this year and viewed it as the best opportunity for price appreciation, according to a survey of foreign real estate investors.

When ranked among countries targeted for real estate investment in 2011, the United States drew four times as many votes as the second-ranked Britain, according to an annual survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE).

About 65 percent of the survey respondents said the United States offered the best opportunity for price appreciation, far outstripping the 10 percent who ranked China as No. 2. During the overheated market in 2006, only 23 percent put the United States as No. 1.

“As the fear of a double-dip recession has faded, investors are becoming more enthusiastic about the prospects for the U.S. economy and are taking aim at real estate investment opportunities in the U.S.,” said James Fetgatter, AFIRE chief executive.

But the selection of property types also shows that investors are not optimistic about a near-term recovery of U.S. employment.

Foreign investors ranked apartments as No. 1, retail as No. 2, and hotel as No. 3. Office, a typical favorite among institutional investors was fourth, and industrial brought up the rear.

“You talk to economists, and they’re saying that we’re going to have 9 percent or 8 percent unemployment for the next several years. That doesn’t bode well for offices,” Fetgatter said.

The survey respondents hold more than $627 billion of real estate globally, including $265 billion in the United States.

About 72 percent of the respondents said they plan to increase investment in the United States in 2011.

“The increase in the interest and perception of the U.S. was a surprise,” Fetgatter said.

For about the past year, U.S. investors have focused their investment in very select, stable, physically constrained markets, and foreign investors seem to have the same sentiment, according to the survey.

New York and Washington scored almost four times higher than third place Boston.

“They really are focused on New York and Washington and not the entire U.S.,” Fetgatter said. “They’re not hitting a lot of the market yet.”

Rounding out the rankings of countries for investment, Germany came in third. China moved up to No. 4 from No. 5 last year. France dropped to No. 5 from a tie for third place with Germany last year.

Among emerging markets, Brazil displaced China as the No. 1 choice. China came in second, displacing India. Vietnam, which was unranked last year, came in fourth, displacing Mexico, which dropped to No. 5, according to the survey. Russia, which had been among the top five emerging markets in the last two years, dropped to 10th place.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Original: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7020F220110103

Mexico looks to establish a new record of 26 million visitors

The Secretary of Tourism (Sectur) noted that the tourism industry has achieved its recovery throughout 2010 and expects a growth of 15% in 2011.

DALLAS, December 16.- The Mexican Tourism Secretary, Gloria Guevara Manzo, confirmed today that the tourism industry in Mexico has recovered completely during 2010 and for this reason projects a 15% growth in this sector for 2011, establishing a record 26 million visitors.

“We have the wealth, infrastructure, services and hospitality right next door to the largest consumer group in the world” affirmed the secretary in an interview with Notimex discussing the strong potential for tourism in the country.

Guevara Manzo made a two day visit to Dallas with an intense work schedule beginning this Thursday with a conference of 150 corporate directors, all alumni of the Kellogg School of Business Administration, a most prestigious school which educates business leaders from all over the world.

The Mexican Tourism Secretary also plans to meet with the directors of Travelocity, the gigantic internet travel agency, in order to listen to their needs and support them in increasing their sales with joint marketing plans.

On her schedule, Guevara Manzo is also considering meeting with other tour operator executives, having discussions with the directors of American Airlines, an airline who has their hub in Dallas and one of the airlines with the most flights to Mexico and also having a series of interviews with local media.

The Secretary said that the growth projected for 2011, 15% in the number of tourists to Mexico, forms an integral part of a plan under which they will try to double the rate of visitors to the country within the next 7-8 years.

In reality, Mexico occupies the tenth place among countries that receive the most visitors in the world and in order to figure in the top five, it needs to reach at least the 43.2 million that Italy grabbed in 2009.

“I am convinced that we can” she emphasized, when discussing the ambitious goal that has been set.

She supported her optimism by noting the grand diversity of destinations and tourist attractions that Mexico offers, at the same time while new elements are added, such as the proclamation of Mexico Cuisine as a UNESCO patrimony.

This head of Sectur, explained that for the first time, Mexico will conduct a strategy of specialized tourism promotion, based on country, population sector and particular destination, with distinct initiatives for each area.

She mentioned for example, that the development and promotion of adventure tourism where destinations like Chiapas and Oaxaca are key, and the economic boost from visitors directly benefit the population sectors that are the most needy, ejido owners and indigenous peoples.

She further stated that Mexico will be the site for the World Adventure Tourism Summit which shall take place in Chiapas in October of 2011.

The specialization of the promotion shall also tend to have the directors of international companies take Mexico into consideration as a perfect place for meetings and conventions without abandoning the increase in the rest of the tourism project, Ms. Guevara Manzo indicated.

She said that Mexico has been preparing to sustain the grown of the tourist sector and indicated that 2011 contemplates an agenda or agreement that is common to all of the sectors involved in the country’s tourism industry.

We will try, she said, to work together united under one vision with the common objective being the impulse of activity and the attaining of the goals established for that area.

Guevara Manzo assured that the national private initiative and that from the exterior is well aware of the potential that tourism has in Mexico and is developing their part.

Finally, she noted the importance of diversification of the tourism markets in Mexico in order not to rely completely on visitors from the United States and Canada, which together represent 70% of all  international tourism that visits the country.

The numbers for 2010 in this country are very appealing, registering between January and October a growth of 85% of the numbers of Brazilian tourists via air travel and 36% of Argentinians, as well as other increases in the nations in Central America and Europe.