Significantly, says Josh Gelormini, vice president of researchfor JLL's capital markets team, the cross-border share ofindustrial transactions is higher this year than last, even thoughthe dollar volume is lower due to the overall slowdown incommercial real estate sales. "Whereas cross-border transactionsoverall declined about 70%, they declined only about 50% in theindustrial sector," he reports.

Another significant feature, the JLL exec adds, is that 86% ofthe industrial cross-border volume involved global investment fundsrather than individual foreign investors. "I think we were on thecusp of seeing more attention being paid from global investors andforeign entities to the industrial sector as a means ofdiversification," he tells "It's difficult to be sureat this juncture because the trends are being dictated by thecredit crisis and all sales are off. But we've seen a net increasein foreign investment in the sector as a percentage of total sales,though not in actual dollar amount."

According to Gelormini, many foreign and global investors havediscovered the industrial market through their interest in retailreal estate, which makes up the second largest source ofcross-border investment, after offices. He says they reason thatlong-term growth in the retail sector inevitably will generatecorresponding growth in distribution and warehousing.

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