Glass Buildings

Asia leads commercial investments in Canada

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Increasing international investments in Canadian commercial real estate primarily stem from Asian companies interested in metropolitan areas with populations topping more than 1 million.

According to a new survey from the Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies at Realtor University and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the trend is also occurring in the U.S. market.

Survey respondents—47 per cent in Canada and 41 per cent in the U.S.—specified their clients were from Asian countries.

“Commercial real estate has become a global industry, and realtors from across the U.S. and Canada now regularly serve clients from all over the world,” said Chris Polychron, president of NAR. “This survey proves the fact that while all real estate is local, not all investors are local.”

The bulk of cross-border commercial investments still exists between Canada and the U.S. Still, in the last half of 2014, international investors brought $13 billion into North America, with Asia investing the majority at $5.7 billion.

The survey, which collaborated with the Canadian Real Estate Association, CCIM Institute and Institute of Real Estate Managers, targeted 30,000 realtors who answered questions about international clients and the utilization of office space.

The changing demand in office space, as clients seek more flexible options, is another trend surfacing from the survey. 40 per cent of Canadian respondents noticed a spiked interest in communal space as the desire for personal space declines.