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Trudeau gives marching orders for tougher stand on investment properties – Globalnews.ca

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Canada’s housing minister says the federal government plans to take a tougher stand on investment properties to help cool housing prices.

The broad strokes of the agenda were outlined in the mandate letter the prime minister gave to Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen.

Among the marching orders to Hussen was to dissuade Canadians from snapping up income properties by reviewing rules around down payments and policies to curb “excessive profits.”

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Hussen says tamping down on the rush for investment properties and flipping, as well as discouraging foreign investors from holding on to vacant homes, is also part of a push to rein in rising home prices.

He says the government would draw a line between mom-and-pop-style landlords and large real estate trusts that own hundreds of units as a passive investment vehicle and may not care whether they are occupied.

“The point is to reduce the speculative demand in the market and help cool these astronomical increases in prices,” Hussen said in an interview Tuesday.

The Canadian Real Estate Association projected in a report this month that the national average home price will have risen by 21.2 per cent year-over-year to $687,500 by the end of 2021.


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Royal LePage predicts 10.5% home price jump in 2022


Royal LePage predicts 10.5% home price jump in 2022

The high cost of housing, particularly in major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver, drove political parties to promise multiple measures to address housing affordability concerns.

The government’s economic update last week included a one-per-cent tax on foreign-owned vacant homes, which the Finance Department estimates will bring in $200 million in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Hussen says other measures the Liberals have in mind are beyond the reach of the federal government and will require negotiations with provinces and territories.

Among these are a promised ban on blind bidding — when sellers opt not to reveal the details of competing bids — or the right to a home inspection prior to purchase.

Hussen is familiar with such negotiations, having been part of the federal push to sign child-care deals with provinces before getting a new ministerial mandate after the Sept. 20 election.

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Canada’s housing prices set to rise again, 1st-time buyers ignore central bank warning

But he is equally no stranger to going around provinces directly to municipalities with funding, and may do so with a proposed $4-billion fund to accelerate the development of affordable housing projects.

The money could help offset the cost of land to build new projects, help local governments hire more planners to speed up approvals, or let cities rewrite zoning rules to push builders to add affordable units to a proposed development.

If cities don’t want to go along with the government’s plan and give in to Not In My Backyard sentiment, Hussen said, they won’t have a chance to apply for the cash.

“There has to be a national conversation, I believe, to overcome, sometimes what I think is unreasonable opposition to affordable housing in neighbourhoods,” Hussen said.

“These are well thought out, well regulated, well supported plans and sometimes, I find, that there is NIMBYism that goes on. It’s just discouraging.”

Hussen said he’ll be looking for feedback on the government’s plans when he speaks with provinces, cities and housing providers at a summit early next year.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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The Daily — Canada's international transactions in securities, November 2021 – Statistique Canada

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Released: 2022-01-17

Foreign investors acquired $30.1 billion of Canadian securities in November, the largest investment since April 2020. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $17.5 billion, led by purchases of US shares.

As a result, international transactions in securities generated a net inflow of funds of $12.6 billion in the Canadian economy in November.

Chart 1 


Canada’s international transactions in securities

The largest foreign investment in Canadian securities since April 2020

Foreign acquisitions of Canadian securities totalled $30.1 billion in November, the largest investment since April 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. In November, foreign investment targeted federal government debt securities, and to a lesser extent, private corporate debt securities. A foreign divestment in Canadian equities moderated the overall acquisition activity in the month.

Foreign investors added $31.4 billion of debt securities to their portfolios in November, up from a $20.4 billion investment in October. This activity mainly reflected purchases of federal government debt securities, both bonds ($8.6 billion) and money market instruments ($6.5 billion). In addition, investors added $9.8 billion of private corporate debt securities to their holdings in November, a seventh consecutive monthly investment, for a total of $87.6 billion. In November, Canadian long-term interest rates rose to the highest level since February 2019. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar depreciated against the US dollar.

Chart 2 

Chart 2: Foreign investment in Canadian debt securities, by sector of issuer

Foreign investment in Canadian debt securities, by sector of issuer

Non-resident investors reduced their overall exposure to the Canadian equity market by $1.3 billion in November, after three consecutive months of investment. The reduction reflected retirements of Canadian portfolio shares resulting from cross-border merger and acquisition activities. Foreign purchases of Canadian shares on the secondary market, led by shares of chartered banks, moderated the overall reduction in the month. Canadian share prices, as measured by the Standard and Poor’s/TSX composite index, were down by 1.8% in November after reaching a record-high level in October.

Canadian investment in foreign securities rebounds

Canadian acquisitions of foreign securities reached $17.5 billion in November, up from a $5.4 billion investment in October and similar to the average investment observed in August and September. The investment activity in November was led by acquisitions of US shares.

Canadian investors added $7.4 billion of US shares to their holdings in November, following an investment of $652 million in October. The activity in November focused on shares of large capitalization technology firms and investment fund shares tracking broad market indices. US stock prices, as measured by the Standard and Poor’s 500 composite index, were down by 0.8% in November. In addition, Canadian investors purchased $4.0 billion of non-US foreign shares, after a divestment of $2.5 billion in October. November’s investment mainly targeted British companies’ shares.

Chart 3 

Chart 3: Canadian investment in foreign equity and investment fund shares

Canadian investment in foreign equity and investment fund shares

Meanwhile, Canadian investors added $6.1 billion of foreign debt securities to their portfolios, mainly in US dollar-denominated instruments. This activity represented the 10th straight month of investment in foreign debt securities for a total of $47.4 billion. Investment in November mainly focused on US corporate bonds ($2.8 billion) and US government bonds ($1.6 billion). In November, Canadian long-term interest rates exceeded their US counterpart with the largest value increase since August 2011.

Chart 4 

Chart 4: Canadian investment in foreign bonds

Canadian investment in foreign bonds

  Note to readers

The data series on international transactions in securities covers portfolio transactions in equity and investment fund shares, bonds and money market instruments for both Canadian and foreign issues. This activity excludes transactions in equity and debt instruments between affiliated enterprises, which are classified as foreign direct investment in international accounts.

Equity and investment fund shares include common and preferred equities, as well as units or shares of investment funds. For the sake of brevity, the terms “shares” and “equity and investment fund shares” have the same meaning.

Debt securities include bonds and money market instruments.

Bonds have an original term to maturity of more than one year.

Money market instruments have an original term to maturity of one year or less.

Government of Canada paper includes Treasury bills and US-dollar Canada bills.

All values in this release are net transactions unless otherwise stated.

Next release

Data on Canada’s international transactions in securities for December 2021 will be released on February 17, 2022.

Products

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available.

The data visualization product “Securities statistics,” part of the series Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X), is available online.

The Canada and the World Statistics Hub (Catalogue number13-609-X) is available online. This product illustrates the nature and extent of Canada’s economic and financial relationship with the world using interactive graphs and tables. This product provides easy access to information on trade, investment, employment and travel between Canada and a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Japan.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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Singapore REITs Double Their Overseas Investment to $12 Billion – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s property managers are accelerating their push abroad as a slow reopening and diminishing returns at home force them to look for growth opportunities elsewhere.

Foreign acquisitions by real estate investment trusts in the city-state jumped to an all-time high of 61 last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The total value of such deals also more than doubled from 2020 to $12.3 billion.

Property managers in Singapore — which boasts the most REITs in Asia outside of Japan — have long shown global ambitions, with overseas investments picking up during the pandemic. But a limited reopening coupled with the anticipated omicron surge is adding impetus to this drive, even as investor concerns over a slowing recovery grow.

“Singapore’s commercial REITs may continue to rely on overseas M&A to achieve income growth in 2022, especially if omicron brings more uncertainty on further easing of social and traveling curbs to boost retail and office leasing demand in the country,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Patrick Wong.  

A $3.1 billion merger of Mapletree Commercial Trust with Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust proposed last month is the latest in a series of moves that have seen managers long comfortable with a domestic presence favor a more global footprint. Also in December, another REIT targeting retail outlets in the city-state, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, made a foray into its second overseas market with office acquisitions in Australia.

Investors like the stability a local focus can offer, Sharon Lim, the chief executive officer of the manager of Mapletree Commercial to told reporters last month, but her trust needs to be better placed to take on new opportunities overseas and achieve “meaningful long-term expansion.” Lim’s REIT, which she described as the “last of the Mohicans” with only Singapore-centric assets will see its domestic holdings shrink to 51% within the new merged entity.

Increased Risks

Overseas diversification may alienate some investors, however, with Mapletree Commercial’s shares having declined more than 8% since the merger was announced. “Investors whose mandate demands only Singapore exposure may look at other counters,” said Krishna Guha, a senior analyst at Jefferies Financial Group Inc, adding that execution and foreign exchange risks may rise.

Still, while the CEO of Singapore’s tourism board Keith Tan has warned that a full recovery in visitor numbers is unlikely until 2025, a reopening dividend might yet emerge. Officials in the financial center have affirmed their determination to live with the virus and keep its borders open, while easing some restrictions, including allowing some workers back into offices.

Singapore’s latest property investment manager Capitaland Investment Ltd. — a spinoff of one of the country’s largest developers — said it will remain committed to local investments despite a growing foreign portfolio.

Singapore will continue to be a “core market” and is attracting strong interest from wealthy individuals, including a growing number of family offices, said CEO Lee Chee Koon in an emailed response to questions about its plans. “But given the physical growth constraints, the relative size of our Singapore business within our portfolio will become smaller over time, as we expand and deepen our interests in overseas markets.”

Investors have validated this strategy so far, with Capitaland Investment emerging as the second-best performer on the benchmark Straits Times Index since its trading debut in September last year, having advanced by over 21%.

The overseas growth fervor is unlikely to dim. A limited pool of good quality assets as well as increasing competition from global funds have also pushed yields lower, said Vijay Natarajan, a real estate analyst at RHB Research Institute. Capitaland’s Lee also expects stronger Asian-based competition to emerge over time.

Instead, deep liquidity pools in overseas markets like the U.K., U.S. and Australia, as well as more alluring freehold and longer lease terms will maintain the draw of markets abroad, said Natarajan. “We expect this trend of overseas acquisitions to continue.”

Footnotes to second chart: 

  • Chart displays % of foreign AUM of top eight REITs by market capitalization
  • Excluded names are Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust, created through a merger in 2020, while Mapletree Commercial Trust and Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust are pure geographical plays
  • Mapletree REITs’ financial years end in March (E.g. For FY 2020: March 2021 rather than Dec. 2020)

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ontario investment to add 300 student, 88 child care spaces in London, Ont. – Globalnews.ca

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The Ontario government says it’s investing nearly $10 million to build and improve two London, Ont., schools.

In a release issued Saturday, the provincial government said the investment will aim to support the creation of 300 student spaces and 88 licensed child care spaces.

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The first project involves $7.2 million in improvements to Eagle Heights Public School at 284 Oxford St. W. It will add 300 new elementary student spaces.

The other project will see the government provide $2.7 million for a new child care centre at Northeast London Elementary School at a London site to be acquired.

This project includes adding 88 child care spaces, an infant room, two toddler rooms and two preschool rooms.

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“The projects are part of a provincewide investment of more than $600 million to support new school and child care spaces,” the statement read. “The overall investment will support 78 school and child care related projects.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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