Real Estate News - The grass gets greener in foreign lands

Canadian companies and pension funds have invested close to $10-billion in foreign real estate this year, a sign of their desire to move outside their own increasingly crowded backyard and evidence of growing clout in global markets.

The flow of Canadian funds into global real estate markets has outpaced foreign investment here at home by almost two-to-one, show figures compiled by real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Ltd. They are to be released at an industry conference this week.

“Canadians are getting to be more international in their outlook and more respected on the world stage,” said Blake Hutcheson, president of CB Richard Ellis in Canada. “They are playing in the big leagues.”

In the past 12 months, foreign interests have made headlines by acquiring between $5-billion and $6-billion in Canadian commercial properties, the company estimates. At the same time, however, almost $10-billion in Canadian funds has flowed the other way. Mr. Hutcheson said Canadian investment in foreign real estate is about twice as high as last year, thanks in part to several large transactions, many by pension funds. Just Monday, Ivanhoe Cambridge, the retail landlord owned by the giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, announced a $249-million deal for a majority stake in a shopping centre in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Article by: Elizabeth Church