Jul 23 | Posted by Barry Cohen

Residents of the GTA know that it is an incredible place to live – it’s safe, well situated, close to an unending amount of amenities, excellent education, culture, recreation and comparatively low property values from a global perspective.  These facts have not been lost on foreign investors that are snatching up Toronto real estate for investment purposes at unprecedented levels.

I’ve recently heard the GTA referred to as the Canadian Dubai as investors, predominantly from China and India, are funding as many as 97 new residential towers, more than any other city in North America.  One of the newest proposals is a 50-floor luxury high rise in the entertainment district that will be one part boutique hotel with rooftop bars and an infinity pool and one part luxury condo. There will be 620 units for sale in total and all of the money for the construction will originate from foreign investors mostly from China, India and Israel.

Canada ranks a strong third behind the US and Australia in terms of top destinations for Chinese real estate inventors and Toronto and Vancouver are seeing the biggest impact.  Land prices in Canada are very attractive and luxury properties on Bay Street are cheaper than in any other city in the same category.

Toronto consistently rates in the top 10 best urban centers to live in around the globe and when you can purchase middle class housing for $550 to $750 per square foot in the downtown core that creates an unbeatable combination.  It is safe to say that any property in the GTA would go for twice as much in Manhattan for example.

The situation is the same on the west coast especially in Vancouver where Stats Can estimates 34,500 new immigrants to settle this year alone.  Of that total about 65% will originate from the Asia Pacific zone with the bulk of them coming from China. Immigration numbers are expected to rise to 45,000 a year for the following three years.

Last January a Chinese based real estate investment firm purchased 232 acres of land on Vancouver’s waterfront from Imperial Oil and intend to build five new luxury condo towers in a city where skyscrapers are not the norm.  According to Forbes Magazine, in 2014 Chinese foreign investment accounted for 25 to 30 percent of all property transactions in Vancouver.

The floundering Loonie makes real estate here even more attractive to foreign investors, with the dollar plunging below the 80 cent mark compared to the US dollar buying a piece of the GTA has never been cheaper.  The real estate building boom continues unabated in Toronto and Vancouver, despite the continual warnings of a market correction from the International Monetary Fund.  These markets have seen a steady increase over the last 18 years with no major corrections and that is not predicted to change.