-- Canadian real estate investors are optimistic about the future, yet cautious about taking greater risks --
As the global economy is plowing through challenges and uncertainties still lingering from the last recession, Canadian commercial real estate investors are optimistic about market conditions, yet somewhat cautious about taking on more risk, according to Colliers International’s 2012 Global Investor Sentiment Survey. Although the Investor Sentiment Index rises to 104.1 points over the five-year time frame, which indicates a positive stance, less than half (45%) of respondents said they are likely or highly likely to move up the risk curve to reap better yields. This risk tolerance level is lower than the one expressed by investors last year when nearly two-thirds (64%) of Canadian investors were willing to take on more risk.
This somewhat conservative mindset to risk is also reflected in investors’ views on returns as 58% of Canadian respondents target their Internal Rate of Return (IRR) below 10%. Nevertheless, Canadian investors have not lost their appetite for deal-making with an overwhelming majority (78%) confirming plans to expand their portfolios in the near future.
“Market activity to date indicates that 2012 is on track to exceed commercial transaction volume last seen before the recession,” says Ian MacCulloch, national research director with Colliers International in Canada. “However, while appetite for deals is still strong and lending conditions are favourable, investors are challenged by the relative scarcity of property for sale in Canada, which is a key investment destination.”
According to the survey findings, more than half (54%) of Canadian investors cited “lack of property for sale” as a major challenge. This obstacle is further heightened considering the target markets investors are eyeing. Canada is considered a key investment destination by both domestic and foreign investors. Nearly six in ten (58%) of Canadian investors confirmed their local market is their main investment focus, followed by investment in the U.S. (20%) and Western Europe (12%). Global respondents ranked these markets similarly with Canada and the U.S. switching spots.
“The property investment market in Canada has had an exceptional year, with investor outlook, financing and general market conditions remaining positive. Colliers believes that Canada is emerging from the shadows as a player in the international property investment arena and we are projecting an increase in cross border capital flows. Canadian investors are increasingly looking abroad and interest from foreign investors will manifest as transactions when conditions are right,” adds Ian MacCulloch.
The full global report (graph and charts included) is downloadable from http://bit.ly/12o3b4I
Infographic with key survey stats can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/UUucL2
Video with key findings and analysis can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7bGccGAhzg
About the Global Investor Sentiment Survey
The Colliers International Global Investor Sentiment Survey was conducted between September 24th and October 5th and includes responses from 434 major institutional and private investors. Survey participants represent a broad cross-section of property investors across the globe, including 30 of Canada’s largest institutional property investors. The survey measured investors’ sentiment and their short and long-term outlooks on topics such as investment activity, market conditions and risk, access to debt, financing and asset valuation.
About Colliers International
Colliers International is the third largest commercial real estate services company in the world with more than 12,300 professionals operating out of more than 522 offices in 62 countries. A subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV; TSX: FSV and FSV.PR.U), it focuses on accelerating success for its clients by seamlessly providing a full range of services to real estate users, owners and investors worldwide, including global corporate solutions, brokerage, property and asset management, hotel investment sales and consulting, valuation, consulting and appraisal services, mortgage banking and research. In 2011 and 2012, The Bloomberg International Property Awards recognized Colliers International with three awards: Best Commercial Property Consultancy, Best Commercial Property Marketing and Best Commercial Property Website in Canada. The latest annual survey by the Lipsey Company ranked Colliers International as the second most recognized commercial real estate brand in the world.
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