Canadian residential investors follow U.S. retail names

“As an investor, you always want to go where renters are going, where the market is moving up the ladder in terms of values and economic growth,” says Margaret Ling, an investor focused on Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. “Target’s announcement last year meant that a lot of my colleagues were looking at properties near their coming locations. I bought in the eastern Danforth because of it.”

She’s not alone.

In a new report, Colliers International argues that Canada’s commercial real estate sector is enjoying increased interest in large part because of the building boom associated with the country’s push to create more to the U.S.-style malls.

That growth is being led by the likes of Marshalls and Nordstrom as they push their way northward into Canada.

For investors focused on the residential end of the business, their presence is set to amp up the appeal of the neighbourhoods surrounding those shopping meccas.

The idea is that big name retailers act as a lure for economic activity and in turn help to increase demand for rental space – both retail, office and residential.

Ling and others are betting on that formula, of sorts, in moving to buy in areas that have traditionally been challenged to attract the kind of Yuppie renters now driving markets such as Toronto and Montreal.

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