Canadian investors jumping abroad

The opportunity to pick up the last of the distressed assets from the global crisis is spurring more Canadians to invest in foreign countries.

Savvy Canadian investors are on a shopping spree and they are on a mission to take advantage of lucrative deals across the globe.

Despite being known as more conservative in the approach to real estate investing, Canadians are pumping their cash into everything from warehouse properties in Europe to office space in India.

According to Ross Moore, director of Canada Research at CRBE Group Inc., Canadians “are buying everywhere” as they love real estate and “have all this money coming in and have to put it somewhere.”

The SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate Exchange– Traded Fund, the largest ETF for non-U.S. real estate, attracted net inflows of $304-million in August, driving its shares to record levels. Passive real estate investors are increasingly opting for such funds, with the U.S. one of the more popular destinations for asset management companies in the wake of the financial crisis.

David Mazza from State Street Global Advisors says Canadian investors are looking beyond the U.S. now to capture greater cyclical recovery and pockets of distress in other countries.

More adds that the U.K. and Australia are easy targets for Canadian investors as the ownership and legal structures are similar so “they understand what they’re getting into and the transparency is good.”

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