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Asian Investors Lead International Commercial Investment in U.S. and Canada, says NAR Survey
International investment in commercial real estate is dominated by Asian interests in bothCanadaand the U.S., according to anew surveyfrom the Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies at REALTORUniversity and the National Association of Realtors.
The survey found that 47 percent of Canadian respondents and 41 percent of those in the U.S. indicated that their international clients were from Asian countries.
Commercial real estate has become a global industry, and Realtorsfrom across the U.S. andCanadanow regularly serve clients from all over the world, said NAR PresidentChris Polychron, executive broker with 1stChoice Realty inHot Springs, Ark.This survey proves the fact that while all real estate is local, not all investors are local.
The survey was done in collaboration with the Canadian Real Estate Association and with assistance from the CCIM Institute and Institute of Real Estate Managers. Nearly 3,000 Realtorsanswered questions about their international commercial clients and the perceived changes they see in the demand for and utilization of office space.
According to the survey, 45 percent of Realtorswho practice commercial real estate inCanadanoted an increase in international clients. Similarly in the U.S., more than a third of responders, 36 percent, observed an increase in international investment.
The survey found that in the U.S., 22.5 percent of international clients came fromEurope, 21 percent fromLatin Americaand 20 percent from theMiddle East. InCanada, Realtorssaid 18 percent of international commercial real estate investment came from theMiddle East, 17 percent fromEuropeand 5 percent fromLatin America. It is important to note that the heaviest cross-border investment in commercial real estate continues to be between the U.S. andCanada.
International investors brought significant capital intoNorth America, nearly$13 billionin the latter half of 2014. Investors fromAsiainvested$5.7 billionin real estate,$4.8 billioncame fromEurope,$1 billioncame from Oceania and$390 millioncame from Latin American investors.
The survey also found a changing demand for office space in both the U.S, andCanada. Commercial clients are seeking more flexible office spaces, reducing the amount of personal space for workers and increasing the amount of communal space; 40 percent of Canadian respondents and 45 percent in the U.S. said their clients are looking for more open space in their offices.
The location of offices spaces is also seeing a shift. InCanada, a majority of investors is looking at property in metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million. In the U.S., however, investors have begun moving away from larger markets into secondary and tertiary markets; more than one-third of U.S. respondents reported investors are interested in markets with populations less than 750,000.
Highlights from the report are available atwww.realtoru.com/real-estate-studies/current-research-programs/international-commercial-real-estate-investment. A full copy of the report is available to news media upon request.
Canadian home sales edge up in February
According to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up slightly on month-over-month basis in February 2015.
National home sales edged up 1.0% from January to February.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above February 2014 levels.
The number of newly listed homes fell 2.5% from January to February.
The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.01% year-over-year in February.
The national average sale price rose 6.3% on a year-over-year basis in February.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS Systems of Canadian real estate
Boards and Associations rose by one per cent in February 2015 compared to January.
The monthly increase was led by Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan region, and Greater Toronto. Gains there offset sales declines elsewhere, with more than half of all local markets having posted weaker sales in February compared to January.
A number of buyers across the Prairies stayed on the sidelines in February, said CREA President Beth Crosbie. Thats likely to remain an important part of the national housing story until the outlook for oil prices starts improving. Meanwhile, home sales in British Columbia and much of Ontario are improving, which underscores the fact that all real estate is local. Nobody knows this better than your local REALTOR, who remains your best source for information about the housing market where you currently live or might like to in the future.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in February stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year, but remained five per cent below the 10-year average for the month of February.
Sales came in below the ten-year average for the month of February in two-thirds of all local markets, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. That said, the opposite was true in a few large urban markets in British Columbia and Ontario despite a shortage of listings there, which is fuelling prices higher.
The number of newly listed homes fell 2.5 per cent in February compared to January, led by Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan region, and Calgary. New listings in Calgary have retreated in recent months after having climbed sharply toward the end of last year.
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 52.2 per cent in February. With sales up and new listings down, this marked an increase from 50.4 per cent in January.