Commercial real estate investment in the Greater Toronto Area dropped 27 per cent in the second quarter of this year, down more than $2.5 billion from the year before, according to the latest report from CRE intelligence firm Altus Group.
The plight of office real estate since the pandemic is well known. In a recent report McKinsey Global Institute predicted that remote work could wipe US$800 billion from the value of office buildings in the world’s major cities.
Globally office attendance still is 30 per cent lower than what it was before the pandemic and McKinsey expects demand for office space to sink 13 per cent by the end of the decade.
The return-to-office has also stalled in Canada, said Altus.
The national office availability rate climbed to 18 per cent in the second quarter and hit 18.5 per cent in the GTA, the third highest in Canada after Calgary and Edmonton.
Sublet space rose to almost 25 per cent of the total available office space, up four per cent from the year before.
But interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada, a shortage of skilled labour and rising construction costs are also taking a toll on residential investment, which fell 44 per cent from the year before.
“However, investors are optimistic as the constrained supply of rental housing and the high cost of housing in the market supports asset fundamentals,” Altus said.
The only sector that’s growing is industrial, where investment rose 36 per cent from last year to $3.39 billion.
“Rising interest rates and construction costs have not deterred investment and new supply as the GTA remains undersupplied relative to the demand,” said Altus.
But even this star is showing signs of strain.
Altus said investors are turning to the lower risks and stable returns of industrial real estate, but remain cautious as the availability rate rose to 2.3 per cent from 1.3 per cent the year before.
About three million square feet of new supply entered the GTA market in the second quarter of 2023, but unlike previous quarters a “significant portion” of it was not pre-leased, says the report.
Nor does Altus see a quick end to Toronto’s decline in real estate investment. The slowdown in the first half of 2023 is likely to continue for the rest of the year because of high interest rates and a growing gap between what sellers are asking and what buyers want to pay.
“Given the current difficulties in the office and some parts of the retail market, industrial and residential real estate will continue to be favoured asset classes in the GTA market.”
Those in political power along with equity market participants seem to think the war on inflation has already been won, but investing pro Martin Pelletier says it may be too soon to declare victory.
Betting one’s portfolio on an outright win over rising prices in the near term could be a dangerous proposition, so Pelletier offers ways to take out a bit of insurance in the event that the war on inflation drags on longer than many expect.
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Tense diplomatic relations may not impact trade, investment ties between India, Canada: Experts
NEW DELHI: The tense diplomatic relations between India and Canada are unlikely to impact trade and investments between the two countries as economic ties are driven by commercial considerations, according to experts. Both India and Canada trade in complementary products and do not compete on similar products.
“Hence, the trade relationship will continue to grow and not be affected by day-to-day events,” Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said.
Certain political developments have led to a pause in negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.
On September 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
India on Tuesday announced the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat hours after Canada asked an Indian official to leave that country, citing a “potential” Indian link to the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader in June.
Srivastava said these recent events are unlikely to affect the deep-rooted people-to-people connections, trade, and economic ties between the two nations.
Bilateral trade between India and Canada has grown significantly in recent years, reaching USD 8.16 billion in 2022-23.
India’s exports (USD 4.1 billion) to Canada include pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles, and machinery, while Canada’s exports to India (USD 4.06 billion) include pulses, timber, pulp and paper, and mining products.
On investments, he said that Canadian pension funds will continue investing in India on grounds of India’s large market and good return on money invested.
Canadian pension funds, by the end of 2022, had invested over USD 45 billion in India, making it the fourth-largest recipient of Canadian FDI in the world.
The top sectors for Canadian pension fund investment in India include infrastructure, renewable energy, technology, and financial services.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries Sharad Kumar Saraf said the present frosty relations between India and Canada are certainly a cause for concern.
“However, the bilateral trade is entirely driven by commercial considerations. Political turmoil is of a temporary nature and should not be a reason to affect trade relations,” Saraf said.
He added that even with China, India has acrimonious relations but bilateral trade continues to remain healthy.
“In fact, bilateral trade is an effective tool to improve political relations. India must make special efforts to increase our bilateral trade with Canada,” Saraf said.
India and Canada have a strong education partnership. There are over 200 educational partnerships between Indian and Canadian institutions.
In addition, over 3,19,000 Indian students are enrolled in Canadian institutions, making them the largest international student cohort in Canada, according to GTRI.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Indian students contributed USD 4.9 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.
Indian students are the largest international student group in Canada, accounting for 20 per cent of all international students in 2021.
Benefits of educational partnerships are mutual and hence the current situation may have no impact on the relationship, Srivastava said.
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double India jobs and investment
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double its workforce and investment in India by next year, a company executive said on Sunday.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has rapidly expanded its presence in India by investing in manufacturing facilities in the south of the country as the company seeks to move away from China.
V Lee, Foxconn’s representative in India, in a LinkedIn post to mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday, said the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by this time next year.
He did not give more details.
Foxconn already has an iPhone factory employing 40,000 people in the state of Tamil Nadu.
In August, the state of Karnataka said the firm will invest US$600 million for two projects to make casing components for iPhones and chip-making equipment.
The company’s Chairman Liu Young-way said in an earnings briefing last month that he sees a lot of potential in India, adding: “several billion dollars in investment is only a beginning”.
Taiwan election: Foxconn’s Terry Gou taps star-powered running mate
Last month, Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou said he would run for the Taiwanese presidency in next year’s election, as an independent candidate.
He said the ruling and independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was unable to offer a bright future for the island and left Foxconn’s board following his decision to run.
The firm operates the world’s largest iPhone plant, in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.
Foxconn to double workforce, investment in India by ‘this time next year’
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