In CRAINS, a report shows how New York City is unlike the rest of the USA, and is truly an international city.

These days, buyers of commercial property in New York can expect their investments to provide similar rates of return as they would in London, Paris and Washington D.C.—cities RCA calls the “Fabulous Four.”

Capitalization rates, the yields investors receive from investing in commercial properties, are more in parity among these four markets than with their respective regions.

Over the past year, yields on prime properties in New York and Washington have averaged a mere 50 basis points, or 0.5%, above those of London and Paris. But they have ranged from 50 to 300 basis points—0.5% to 3.0%—below the average yield in the U.S. as a whole, where prices are significantly lower. Similarly, those in London and Paris have been on average as many as 200 basis points below the average office yield in Western Europe.

One of the main reasons is the strong interest from cross-border buyers, who represent a large share of acquisitions in each of these four cities and help keep prices aligned within these global markets. Foreign buyers account for more than half of office transactions in London and Paris, and a quarter of transactions in New York and Washington.

“A buyer can jump from New York to Paris very quickly,” said Dan Fasulo, head of global research at Real Capital Analytics. “It’s the same buyers, the same debt providers.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has regained momentum since the recent slump. Mr. Fasulo said that it has been a macroeconomic trend for close to a decade but was put on hold during the global economic downturn in late 2008 and early 2009.

And what does this mean for residential real estate? “When there is money to be made in New York City,” says Leonard Steinberg of Prudential Douglas Elliman and publisher of Luxuryletter, “the wealthy are there. That bodes well for our City.”