In Hot Pursuit of Foreign Assets
A shrinking domestic property market—look at how much Bayview Village sold for ($500M) is driving Canadian pension funds and REITS into foreign investments, according to JLL. (Our theory that REITs just want to be closer to British star of Homeland Damien Lewis remains unconfirmed.) The VP of the firm's International Capital Group Lucy Fletcher tells us Canada is on pace to surpass the record high for direct investment in international real estate--$11B, set in 2011. The Canadian office market is largely confined to nine major cities, about 400M SF—the size of the Manhattan market. Combine that with investors' healthy appetite for real estate (Canadian pension funds typically allocate 10% to 15% of their capital to it) and you have this push.
Lucy says Canadian firms lead the way when on entering "smart partnerships" abroad—JVs, or more passive investment with companies that better understand a target market. "And there's repeat business there," she says. "They are just not parking capital into one, large $500M transaction, there are opportunities for future deal flow through these relationships." China is a new market for Canadian funds, she adds. "We are known for being smart investors, seeking out good opportunities. And Canadian investors are conservative. Everyone knows how well Canada fared through the global financial crisis." (Is that the juiciest gossip people can spread about us?) In the image is Bayview Village.