Cross-border industrial transactions in the US totaled $1.4 billion in the first half of 2008, according to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle. The figure includes $1.1 billion in purchases and $0.4 billion in dispositions. While the total represents but a tiny fraction of the $64 billion in overall US cross-border commercial real estate transactions for the January-June period, it represents 11.3% of the $12.4 billion in total US industrial transactions.

Significantly, says Josh Gelormini, vice president of research for JLL’s capital markets team, the cross-border share of industrial transactions is higher this year than last, even though the dollar volume is lower due to the overall slowdown in commercial real estate sales. “Whereas cross-border transactions overall declined about 70%, they declined only about 50% in the industrial sector,” he reports.

Another significant feature, the JLL exec adds, is that 86% of the industrial cross-border volume involved global investment funds rather than individual foreign investors. “I think we were on the cusp of seeing more attention being paid from global investors and foreign entities to the industrial sector as a means of diversification,” he tells “It’s difficult to be sure at this juncture because the trends are being dictated by the credit crisis and all sales are off. But we’ve seen a net increase in foreign investment in the sector as a percentage of total sales, though not in actual dollar amount.”

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