Brokers question foreign investment

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Brokers are questioning how much foreign investment is expected to flood the Canadian housing market, despite one prediction from a major economist.

Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist with Dominion Lending Centres visited the offices last week and said that, due to political uncertainty in Russia and Greece, nationals from both of those countries are expected to move their money out-of-country and into the Canadian real estate market. However, brokers aren’t exactly sold.

“It's the equivalent of buying at the top or selling at the bottom of the stock market. Both are very unfortunate. As well - a strategy like this for both of those countries should have been done several years ago and that makes this a desperation reaction,” David Toles of Mortgage Alliance wrote on “To make matters worse, I strongly suspect that even trying to move money out now is next to impossible for investors from either of those countries. Don't see it happening.”

This, despite the fact that at least one Canadian broker has received inquiries from potential foreign investors.

“I’m getting calls and emails from people in Greece that are transferring here and they want direction; how much money is going to flow into here?” John Panagakos of Dominion Lending Centres Home Financial told “We know billions of dollars is leaving the country every week because of uncertainty and where that money is going we don’t know.

“For Greek nationals, the Canadian real estate market is a safe place (to invest).”

Still, some scepticism remains.

“This is the first time I am hearing about Greece and Russia foreign investments. I wonder if investing in REIT or money exchange would not be a simpler alternative for foreigner as such,” one broker wrote on “Canadian real estate is driven by cheap credit and not necessarily attractive as cash purchase of exorbitant unsustainable costs specifically in Toronto.”
  • John D. on 2015-03-02 12:51:03 PM

    I see this article as DLC trying to get attention. We are not going to see a lot of money coming to Canada from Greece nor Russia. Not unless this money is not being disclosed to their country's governments and banking systems. Maybe DLC should stop watching Million Dollar Listing Miami.

  • J Smith on 2015-03-02 1:25:24 PM

    I fully agree with John D. I hope we stay away from sensational reporting and yes, don't forget economists are like weather men! ;)

  • Doug B. on 2015-03-02 9:51:56 PM

    What do you guys think about Asian money in Canada? Prosecution from corruption resulting in hiding, avoiding, off shoring?

  • Doug B. on 2015-03-03 10:15:25 AM

    OTTAWA — Canadian cities need to have an open debate about the risks and benefits of Chinese money — including “hot” funds brought in by corrupt officials — in Canada’s housing market, according to a former senior Harper government official.

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