China Life Insurance Group signed off on a $950 million deal this week with ElmTree Funds, a Clayton-based real estate investment firm.
Under the arrangement, the Beijing-based insurer is acquiring 48 commercial properties located in smaller markets across the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. China Life will take a 95 percent stake in the portfolio, with ElmTree retaining the rest and continuing to manage the properties.
Jim Koman, managing principal of ElmTree, said investors are looking at secondary markets such as St. Louis where real estate prices have not been driven up as much as in bigger markets.
Other St. Louis real estate brokers echo that sentiment, citing a recent uptick in demand for local real estate from private equity groups and other investors from outside of the region.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch