A 'Banner Year' For Foreign Investment In Canadian CRE
Foreign investment in Canadian commercial real estate totalled $5.6B last year, accounting for 27% of all deals over $10M, according to a new report from CBRE. “Canada is about as safe a bet as there is on a global scale,” said CBRE Canada Capital Markets president Peter Senst, and CRE assets here provide investors near-record high spreads over government bonds. This is driving insatiable demand for top-quality Canadian assets, and record transactions in number and prices achieved. Iconic assets have been changing hands, notably Vancouver’s Bentall Centre (below), acquired by Anbang Insurance.
Senst said 2016 was a banner year for foreign investment in Canada, with Chinese capital behind a number of blockbuster deals, including the sale of 215 Lake Shore Blvd. E to Greenland Group. China and Hong Kong emerged as big players, representing 71% of foreign investment nationally. Bluesky Hotels, backed by Hong Kong capital, bought InnVest REIT and its portfolio of 109 hotels nationwide. Vancouver attracted the most foreign capital ($2.3B in acquisitions of assets over $10M), besting Toronto ($1.3B) by a wide margin. Both are emerging as gateway cities for global investors, “and we expect this demand to continue into 2017,” Senst said.