How mercenary are Canadian investors?

"With all the headwinds that continue to plague our industry,” writes Avison Young CEO Mark E. Rose, in the company’s forecast for the Canadian and U.S. commercial sector, “what we have been advising for the last three years will continue to be our mantra: stay patient, risk-manage your strategy on the buy-side, and take advantage of off-market and distressed opportunities when they present themselves."

According to the report, in Canada, the shortage of product and very low current vacancy rates suggest there remains an upside for owners of commercial, even though the large development pipeline may eventually slow rent growth.

Unfortunately, the strong Canadian dollar remands a problem for the domestic economy, although positive for Canadian institutions going global, hence another a trend for 2013.

The annual report covers the office, retail, industrial and investment markets in 29 Canadian and U.S. metropolitan regions, from Calgary and Regina to Toronto and Vancouver.

Those markets offer few distressed sale opportunities for investors looking to take up Avison’s suggestion.

That may explain the increased demand among institutional and individual investors for American properties across the lower 49 states.

Still, even in Florida and Arizona – arguably the epicentre of the last market collapse – those foreclosure and short-sale opportunities are becoming relatively scarce given growing demand.

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