What has caused this shift?
While there are no formal research or study on the actual number of foreign buyers of properties—specifically condominiums—in Toronto, the number is significant, considering the global real estate situation. Many attribute this to the real estate market in other countries. In prime locations in America or Asia, real estate is not what it used to be. Condominium units in New York, London, and Tokyo, to name a few, remain unoccupied for several months. This shift, economists say, is the reason why Canada has so far managed to survive the real estate crunch countries like America is experiencing. The reason why Canada has survived the economic crisis is not solely because of the country’s population, which isn’t enough to support the real estate supply in the country. Among the foreigners who have bought properties in Toronto are Russians, South Koreans, and the British. Citizens from Japan, China, Greece, Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and even the U.S. buy properties in Toronto. However, the Iranians comprise the bulk of these foreign buyers. According to high-end developers and agents, Iranians are biggest client group for real estate sales. The foreign market is hardly saturated; firms and agents are struggling just to keep up with the demand. Foreigners usually buy property so they will have a place for vacations or so they could rent it out. Subsequently, because of Toronto’s good real estate records despite the economic crunch, more foreigners are enticed to buy property in Toronto. Other than Toronto being one of the most visited cities in the world, its price growth, while not as high as 2007, is stable; more stable, in fact, compared to other pricier locations in America.
However, that is not the only reason why foreigners are interested with Toronto’s real estate. For years, Canada is known for being home to several nationalities. Unlike countries such as America or Australia, there are hardly any cases or reports of racial discrimination in Canada. This is among the reasons why Iranians are flocking to Canada. In recent years, Americans have been less welcoming to Muslims. Canada, however, is seen by foreign as more tolerant to different nationalities. There are no exact figures on record on how many foreign buyers of real estate there are in Toronto. Depending on the record one checks, it could range from 20 to 50 percent. What is proven, however, is that Toronto truly is a prime location for real estate investment.