Since the U.S. housing market collapse, Canadian investors have been facing competition south of the border. But could they soon be squaring off on home turf?
A recent article in the New York Times has praised the number of investment prospects in Canada's housing market - identifying Vancouver as particularly rife with opportunity for U.S. investors weighing their options.
"While the market is no longer in (the) red hot state it was about a year ago, it actually improves the chances for foreign investors," said the report. "The market is softening and there is plenty of price adjustment. Still, Canada mortgage rates are lower and people are interested in buying."
The current lending conditions may have hampered buying power for domestic homebuyers, but they have had relatively little impact on the buying trends of investors, especially those from overseas.
It is estimated that almost a quarter of buyers in the city are foreign. In addition to buyers from China, investors from as close as the U.S. and as far as Europe have income properties in Vancouver. The findings may come as a welcome piece of good news for investors in B.C. worried about market conditions. More-active investors from the U.S. can potentially mean business as usual when it comes to buying and selling.
Marcus Arkan, of Syndicate Mortgages, agrees that there are plenty of opportunities for foreign investors in Canada's housing market.
"Last year, mortgage rule changes were a nightmare for many of the buyers and investors. Of course, there were some pretty ugly predictions made by some of the analysts," he says. "However, there are plenty of local markets that have proven their resilience to all these factors."
Arkan also points out the varied performance of different asset classes within these local markets, ranging from residential to commercial and non-traditional real estate holdings. "
There are a number of REITS in Vancouver and Toronto," he says. "They are popular due to the transparency and liquidity they offer to all kinds of investors.