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At this time, I am looking backward (that is, marking) while my students are looking forward to leaving campus for various exotic locations.  So, it is more appropriate to look forward.

For that reason, I encourage you to read a report written by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).  Emerging Trends in Real Estate is a long (100 pages) in-depth annual report on the full range of commercial real estate in many parts of the world.  The North American report includes 20 pages on Canada (which should tell you something about how many American businesses are looking north) and another two pages about the larger countries in Latin America. (This page includes a side bar with links to previous reports and to the current reports for other parts of the world.)

The interviews conducted by PwC/ULI with a “wide range of industry experts” suggest which sectors or locations are expected to go down during the next 12 months and which sectors or locations are the one to watch.  They drill down into the data to offer more than the usual up and down commentary.  “This year will be the year that investors in Canada look to the fundamentals of commercial property for “pure” yield in the form of cash flow, rather than relying on capital markets to boost real estate values.” (p. 65).  They note how changing conditions in finance markets mean that pension funds are likely to replace REITs as the leading buyers (p. 68).  They are generally negative about the prospects for suburban office space (p. 73, although p. 74 makes for interesting reading either because they are trying to make it sound not so bad or, in case they are wrong, playing a game of CYA.)

PS: The Toronto Chapter of ULI organizes meetings and workshops which are interesting, varied and frequent.   I encourage you to investigate and attend those which interest you.

PA

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