THIS DOUBLE STANDARD IS AMUSING: FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL, “FOREIGN INVESTORS GO SHOPPING FOR CANADIAN HOTELS” (JULY 29, 2013)
Apparently, foreign investors are snapping up stakes in Canadian hotels. They are attracted by our stable economy. 24% of the $800M that has been invested in Canadian hotels during the first six months of 2013 (compared to the 7% of the $650M worth of hotel deals done in the first half month of 2012) has come from foreign investors.
It is thought that Canada has a new “safe-haven” reputation, and success in the hotel business is highly tied to the local economy. Investing in Toronto’s hotels reflects confidence in the Toronto real estate economy. There are a half dozen major brands desperate to be in Toronto and are actively looking for a site or an acquisition.
Of course, this is no issue for anyone. The idea of foreigners investing in our hotel economy is viewed as a shot in the arm, a vote of confidence. It is ironic that we are not of the same opinion of foreign condo investors. These people, according to economists, our government, and our central bank, pose a large risk to our economy. I guess these investors have some other reason than the hotel investors to invest in our city and economy. Of course, this is absurd. Foreign investors (commercial, industrial, or residential condo), invest for the same reasons. They believe it is a good idea, and that they will make money. Condo investors are no more destabilizing than the hotel, commercial, or industrial investors. We as a city and a country should be proud that Toronto and Canada have become one of the cities on the radar for international money. This international money has found us, and henceforth we are not entirely in control of our real estate industry. Yes, we are becoming a London or a New York, and with the wealth comes some new challenges. We should not fear international real estate investors, we should be flattered. We have arrived.