Here’s a nice overview of international real estate investment trends.

Among major markets, New York City has the lowest office vacancy rate in the country, at 6.3%, says the NAR. The national average is 13%.

Los Angeles, Miami and Honolulu also have vacancy rates below 10%.

U.S. markets with the top sales volumes in office buildings in the first four months of 2007 were so-called global gateways: Manhattan, Chicago, northern Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) and San Francisco.

“The most extreme example is Manhattan,” Fasula said. He cites record leasing prices that continue to push asset values higher.

In the second quarter, office prices in Manhattan reached $711 per square foot on average, the NAR estimates, compared with $228 in Chicago and $435 in San Francisco.