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Writer-s-Bloc

Real estate signs of the times

By Brenda Ellis Brell

Sometimes it's obvious how global shifts can rock the real estate industry world-wide, such as when the Brexit vote caused British investors to pull back due to a falling pound. 

Other signs are subtler.

This information is based on a presentation by Carla Rayman told at a session analyzing shifts in the global real estate market at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Orlando, Nov. 5.

“Look for the macarons and market to the French,” she advised. 

She explained that one of the ways French citizens find to emigrate is by opening shops featuring the delicious pastries their country is known for.

“That’s one of the franchises they use to move.”

Her business partner and co-presenter, Patricia Tan, added that many of the French inbound relocation may be traceable to the left-wing policies driving up income taxes in France.

As certified international property specialists, we know that changes to not have to necessarily be violent or radical, and we are always watching for those little changes around the globe.

Rayman and Tan presented noteworthy trends in politics, tourism, and the economy that affect global real estate movements.

Here are eight might impact our market in the Okanagan-Shuswap,

  • Vancouver is expecting a 10 per cent drop in real estate sales next year due to a new 15 per cent sales tax on foreign buyers. The location of UBC Okanagan helps because a good university drives a lot of foreign attention so we can anticipate an uptick here.
     
  • The strength of the dollar means many Canadians might be looking to cash out on their vacation homes in the United States. The idea is that they’ll rent for the next few years and buy again when the loonie is more competitive with its southern neighbour. Or in the case of older Canadians, opt to winter in Canada’s more temperate climates — like the Okanagan or Victoria.
     
  • One of the best ways to predict which countries are going to contribute most to our pool of foreign buyers is to see where tourists are coming from and take note when airlines add new direct flights from other countries to our area. Keeping  an eye on YVR and the airlines operating there. If you have been in or out lately you know the airport is always evolving. 
     
  • Eco-tourism was a big driver for foreign visitors, but it’s waning. Next up might be “marijuana tourism” once the government has legalized the drug.
     
  • Foreign investment focus may soon shift from larger centres like New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto to smaller cities and towns that boast attractive events such as large wine, art, and film festivals. The Okanagan investment in cultural attractions will play into this with the right promotion.
     
  • Violence and other security issues are causing those in Ukraine, Turkey, and the Middle East to look outside of the region for a new home.
     
  • Softer shifts, mostly due to political changes, are driving real estate investment out of the Philippines, Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina.
     
  • High unemployment was a major motivation for young people in Spain to look abroad, and now the same phenomenon is happening with young Greeks. Movement out of Europe to Canada and eventually to the Okanagan Shuswap is likely due to our similar climate.

For more information about what is going on in real estate around the world, subscribe to our Flipboard magazine or online at  www.InternationalRealEstateUmbrella.com.

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