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In Office I-Sales, NYC is On Top

787-7th-ave The priciest single asset trade nationwide in 2016 was CalPERS’ $1.93 billion purchase of 787 7th Ave.

NEW YORK CITY—The office investment market here remains the most attractive destination for both local and offshore buyers, according to a new report by the Commercial Café and Yardi Matrix on the nation’s top 50 deals of 2016.

Other markets also landed a good deal of capital in the past year though. The US office market is poised to become even more attractive in the future, especially to foreign investors, if Brexit goes through.

The priciest, and second largest single asset trade of the year—CalPERS’ $1.93 billion acquisition of 787 7th Ave., or the AXA Equitable Center—only  was surpassed by the cross-market 19 asset portfolio transaction between the now merged Cousins and Parkway Properties at a value of $1.95 billion.

One of the biggest investments in pension fund CalPERS’ history, the AXA sale closed in Jan. of 2016, at $1,179 per square foot. The 51-story, 1.6-million-square-foot tower includes 49,000 square feet of retail space, a parking garage and access to the underground concourse of Rockefeller Center. CalPERS bought the property from AXA Financial.

Drawn by the array of investment opportunities, the promise of long-term, stable returns and property market stability, foreign investors are now pumping more and more money into US commercial real estate, with a clear focus on office assets, according to the Top Deals report.

Seven out of the top 50 office deals of the year were closed by Asian buyers, accounting for 15% of the total sales volume. Notable transactions included China Life’s $1.64 billion purchase of 1285 Ave. of the Americas here, in a joint venture with RXR Realty; the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s $1.15 billion acquisition of 1095 Ave. of the Americas here; Mirae Asset Global Investments’ $825 million partnership with Transwestern in Dallas; and Korea Investment Management Co.’s $354 million buy of 2970 Market St. in Philadelphia.

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