Spurred by a need to salve economic wounds at home, Japanese investors have sharply accelerated their retreat from the U.S. real estate market they galloped into last decade, said a study released Thursday.
Japanese owners had nearly $6.4 billion in properties in the sales pipeline in 1994, nearly double the $3.4 billion of the previous year, said the 10th annual survey on Japanese investment trends by E&Y; Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group.
“It’s a significant retreat,” said Jack R. Rodman, director of the group’s Pacific Rim work.
“Over the next five years, you’ll see the vast majority of the $77 billion the Japanese invested in U.S. real estate since 1985 change hands.”
Commerce Department figures show the Japanese influx of new investment in the United States, which reached an annual peak of $12 billion in 1990, fell to $500 million last year.
Only recently have Japanese companies been willing to consider sales of tarnished U.S. properties.