March 8, 2021

COVID-19 Slows 2020 Inbound Capital to Seven-Year Low

COVID-19 restrictions took a heavy toll on global investment in 2020. Foreign investment in the U.S. fell to a seven-year low of $28 billion, down by 31% from 2019. U.S. outbound capital fell by 29% to $41.6 billion. Worldwide, global cross-border capital flows fell by 19% to $217 billion.

The 31% drop in U.S. inbound capital was most pronounced from EMEA-based investors, who accounted for 63% of the total absolute decline in volume. Canadian and APAC investors remained active. Capital inflow from South Korea and Singapore increased by 48% year-over-year. Cross-border investors exhibited strong appetite for U.S. logistics and core assets in Tier I markets.

The U.S. continued to be a net buyer of foreign real estate in 2020, as capital outflow exceeded inflow by $14 billion, down from 2019’s net outflow of $18 billion. Capital outflow decreased by 29% year-over-year, mainly due to less U.S. investment in Europe. However, Europe still attracted 77% of total U.S. outbound capital in 2020.

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