GLOBAL – Four of the five top global cities for real estate investment are in the US, according to members of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE).

Cross-border investors ranked Houston (Texas) in the top five for first time, while New York (top), San Francisco and Washington DC also remained. London was the only non-US global city, ranked second

Jim Fetgatter, CEO of AFIRE, said: "The strong endorsement of both San Francisco and Houston by our members in this year’s survey directly reflects the propensity for real estate investment to follow jobs, in this case technology and energy, which are thought to be among the top drivers of the next economic wave," said.

The US received 55% of respondents’ votes as the country providing the most stable and secure investment opportunities. The ranking is similar to last year’s but contrasts with 2009 when only 43% thought the US was the most stable market.

In 2012, the next ranked country, Canada, achieved only 18% of the votes.

Possibly the biggest surprise was the emergence of Turkey as the fourth top global market for capital appreciation and the third top emerging market (behind Brazil and China). The country was ranked ninth and seventh, respectively, last year.

The US was ranked first for its potential to provide capital appreciation, with 55% of the vote, followed by Brazil with 17%. Not surprisingly, 81% of respondents plan to increase their exposure to the US; of these, 31% said they were planning a "major net increase".

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012 among the association’s members, who account for some $2trn in real estate assets.