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Foreign investors may (or may not) be taking over Toronto’s condo market

(Image: Mike in TO from the TorontoLife.com Flickr pool)

Coverage of Toronto’s condo boom usually includes vague mutterings about foreign investors taking over, but Canada doesn’t actually track foreign investment in real estate. This week, the Globe and Mail did its darndest to figure out if the anecdotal evidence has merit. Royal LePage’Al Daimee, who specializes in downtown condo sales, believes foreign investors are buying the vast majority of new condos based on the number of documents that make use of a power of attorney (offshore buyers usually have a local contact to close a deal). However, John Andrew, director of Queen’s University’s Real Estate Roundtable, thinks the idea that foreigners rule the market is a myth perpetuated by stereotyping and confusion, saying there are “people the sales people may mistake for foreigners, because they are landed immigrants or they may not be Caucasian.” Experts also differ on whether foreign real estate investment is beneficial to Toronto: some say offshore investors, who often make cash deals, are less likely to dump the units should Canadian interest rates rise; others say too much foreign money could drive up demand and inflate prices. So, to summarize: there may or may not be tons of foreign investors, and those foreign investors may or may not be a good thing for the market. [Globe and Mail]

 

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