How the falling loonie and low rates could lure more foreign investors to Canadian housing

 Jason Payne/Postmedia News, file

Canada’s two priciest housing markets may not need the boost, but Toronto and Vancouver could be on the verge of a spike in foreign investment.

With the loonie falling about 10% against the U.S. dollar in the last six months, foreigners who have their money parked in greenbacks or in currencies pegged to the American dollar are likely to ramp up their interest in the Canadian marketplace, say industry experts.

Alberta, which is now facing a crunch of new listings and weak demand, is unlikely to see any benefit as investors run away from the province over oil price fears.

“The reputation of the oilpatch here has been tarnished a bit,” says Dan Scarrow, the Shanghai-based managing director of Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre, which was set up just two months ago, and is run by Vancouver-based Macdonald Real Estate Group.

He says the opposite is true in Vancouver and Toronto, where prices in January were up 7.5% and 6.1% respectively from a year ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. “With the Chinese economy slowing down a bit and with the Canadian dollar depreciating 20% versus the RMB, it might change the calculus of some people of how much they want to leave in China and how much they want to bring to Canada.”

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Source: Financial Post, 02/26/2015

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Sharon Chung

Sharon Chung

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