Middle Eastern investors have their eyes on Miami.
The Miami area was the 10th most popular global destination for Middle East investment over an 18-month period ended in June, according to CBRE Inc. The foreign investors poured $517 million into Miami's real estate market during that time, making it the fifth most sought-after market in the U.S.
Investors from the Middle East were active buyers during the first half of the year despite a slowdown in global investment turnover. They spent about $9.8 billion on commercial real estate, representing 20 percent of all global cross-regional investment, according to CBRE.
A good chunk of these investors is looking for long-term holds, and South Florida property fits the bill. The region's "growth and demographics create very strong positive trend lines for long-term holders," said Charles Foschini, vice chairman of South Florida markets at CBRE.
Recent deals include the former Viceroy Miami hotel, which was purchased by a Qatar-based conglomerate in June. Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Co., the international hotel investment and hospitality subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding Co., purchased the property for $64.5 million and rebranded it as the W Miami.
Late last year Kuwait-based KFH Capital dropped $120 million on hundreds of apartments and townhouses at the Modera Town Center in Miramar.
"The launch of a direct Miami-to-Qatar flight has increased Middle Eastern interest in South Florida real estate," said Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors. The association will be promoting South Florida real estate at a property showcase event at the Dubai World Trade Centre this month.
The top markets capturing Middle Eastern investments were New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.