These are the top cities for property investment

The global property investment market grew to $788 billion in the year to June 2014, with New York hanging on to its title as the top city for investment, a new report shows.

According to Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), global real estate investment volumes rose 17.2 percent in the twelve months to June 2014, as cross-border and domestic investments increased 38.8 and 11.3 percent respectively.

For the fourth consecutive year, New York has claimed the top spot with volumes growing 12.6 percent year-on-year to $55.4 billion, capturing 7 percent of global market share.

But second-placed London is hot on the heels of the Big Apple, with a 40 percent surge in investment activity to $47.2 billion fueled by cross-border investors. The U.K. capital remains "by far" the most favored market among international players, attracting a 14.1 percent share of international capital ahead of Paris -5.5 percent – and New York's 4.9 percent.

New York City sunset
Didier Marti | Getty Images

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The big movers

The cities making up the top ten remain little changed and very U.S-heavy. The list is comprised of New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas and Hong Kong.

However "while gateway cities remain a primary focus for investors, interest in a broader spread of locations is increasingly apparent due to improved confidence and finance availability as well as a lack of supply in core cities", Carlo Barel di Sant'Albano, international CEO at C&W wrote in the report.

As such, Singapore, Moscow, Seoul and Toronto were ousted from the top 20 by Shanghai, Beijing, Miami and Stockholm, but these moves, notes the report, "are relatively small".

Dubai and Dublin however saw significant change by featuring in the top 50 this year, up from their previous respective rankings at 186 and 82.

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Future

"Europe's moment in the sun will continue", forecasts C&W. The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)region saw a 30 percent increase in activity in the past year, ahead of the U.S.' 14.3 percent jump and Asia's 5.5 percent move.

This will be driven by the "relative safety, a promise of recovery and improving availability of stock as banking and company restructuring continues", writes C&W's head of EMEA capital markets,Jan-Willem Bastijn.

Southern Europe and second-tier cities –including Amsterdam,Madrid, Milan, Warsaw and Brussels - should benefit, along with Istanbul and Dubai.

Over in Asia, "an expectation of relatively low growth returns for the next three to five years" will encourage investors to potentially redeploy away from core markets towards emerging markets or the U.S. and Europe, expects John Stinson, head of Asia Pacific capital markets at C&W.

So while Tokyo and Singapore will cement their core market positions, greater risk tolerance from investors should benefit secondary markets and cities such as Jakarta in Indonesia but also the Philippines' Manila and India's Bangalore.

The trend should be similar in North America where despite compressed yields, investors, buoyed by improving confidence and finance availability are likely to also take an interest into second tier markets.

Overall, writes Carlo Barel di Sant'Albano, "competition, growth and change will bring forth more new global winners".

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