Student Housing Attracting Investment in the Billions | Real Estate Investment News

Record Investment in Student Housing in 2018?

2016 was a record year for student housing in the US. $10 billion was poured into investment grade student housing projects in the US. It was a 64% increase over 2015 investment numbers.

One report suggest 2017 totals will equal 2016’s torrid levels. Is there more gas in the tank for the student housing investment sector in 2018?

According to ARA Newmark Student Housing Group’s 2016 overview, $9.33 Billion of the 2016 total was directed toward the acquisition of investment-grade student housing assets priced above $10 million. This means the total market is much bigger.

Add to that the even more impressive numbers in cities like Vancouver and you have a huge and growing investment pool serving the student housing market in Vancouver Canada. The Canadian Economic Forecast is very positive too for 2017 and 2018 and that will make investors more eager to get into condo construction and the rental market.  Yet the Vancouver condo market has many pressures on it.




No more Animal House – This is a Worthy Investment Asset

“More institutional investors are looking at student housing as a viable investment thanks to rising demand that continues to outweigh the current supply” — report from Forbes Magazine

Why the Boom in Student Housing in the US, UK, and Canada?

Why the big interest in student housing investment? It’s a global phenomena and the underlying demographics appear to be fueling demand. That’s drawing money from top investment funds.

  1. Echo boomers in particular are the key age group pushing the numbers. Enrollment is up to 20 million students in degree granting institutions alone.
  2. US state governments are withdrawing funding for higher education
  3. US housing and Canadian housing is at record low availability, and a private investment driven housing solution was needed.
  4. Investors are liking the ROI are ready to sink their money into student housing in 2017 and beyond.
  5. Low interest rates
  6. Student housing is less vulnerable to economic swings and recessions
  7. Institutional funds are moving in because they’re less interested in traditional asset classes

Interest in student housing has been growing steadily, as more investors look towards less traditional asset classes within commercial real estate. Much more institutional capital has entered the student housing space as of late,” — from a report in realtor.org.

Add low interest rates and willingness for big investment firms to participate, and you have record growth for student housing investment. Big foreign investment fund managers want in too. Recently, the Canada Pension Plan and a Singapore Investment group purchased $1.6 billion of properties in the US.

Anxious times for UBC Students Under Pressure

And the trend isn’t isolated to the US and Canada. Knight Frank reports  that purpose-built student housing projects are peaking in the UK too.

Investor demand for student accommodation blocks is so strong that some potential buyers were forced to stand during presentations at a student housing investment conference in a ballroom in Covent Garden, central London this week – from a report in the Guardian .

In terms of risk, this student housing investment sector is less sensitive. Unlike apartment rentals, renters have the financial means and are not deterred by employment fluctuations.

Rental growth in the sector has proven to be less volatile than that of conventional apartments — partially as a result of the sector being less economically sensitive. Results for some of the largest players in the market show rental growth volatility, as indicated by the standard deviation, was lower than conventional apartments, and capital expenditures are in line with those of conventional apartments,” said Tom Park, senior director, strategy and research, in a statement from irei.com article .

Foreign students are driving part of the demand too. They’re hungry for college and university degrees and their parents are willing to pony up the high price for a North American degree. These students emanate from China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Dubai, United Emirates, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and India.

Why is Vancouver so Popular in the Purpose Built Student Housing Market?

One notable one might be the preference of the lucrative foreign student market for the city of Vancouver. Anti-foreign policies by President Trump, high cost of living, and anti-immigration sentiments in the US are deterring foreign applicants. Vancouver is well known to Pacific Rim countries, offers a friendly atmosphere to foreign students, particularly from Asia, and Canada allows many foreign students to work and immigrate to Canada.

Add to that the lifestyle in Vancouver with its mountainous seaside communities and recreation opportunities, and the draw for wealthy foreign student’s families is complete.

Colleges and Universities in Vancouver

The Vancouver area is home to at least 12 colleges and universities serving a densely populated in the region. The institutions include Capilano University, Emily Carr University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, New York Institute of Technology, Trinity Western University, Langara College, OMNI College, Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia (UBC).

Viva Hotel Tower purchased by CIBT and converted to luxury student accommodation. Photo courtesy of studenthotel.ca

Student housing communities can serve many schools simultaneously which makes them more attractive to investors. The cities of Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby and downtown Vancouver are central to these colleges and universities and are close to Vancouver’s major transit line.

Vancouver is in the midst of a severe housing shortage with near zero vacancy rates. That has perked housing investor’s attention. And it would explain why property investment firms such as CIBT have grown so fast. CIBT picks up the equation even further by bringing commercial services in as part of the money making scenario.

For investors, the student housing investment climate is a very attractive and potentially lucrative one. It might one to add to your investment portfolio for 2018.

The 2018 US housing market is looking a little flat, while the Vancouver housing market continues to show strong growth activity. Something to think about.

*This post is not intended as professional investment advice. Prospective investors should speak with a licensed investment advisor and review closely the prospectus of any student housing investment fund.




Student Housing Investment Canada | Vancouver Condo Market UpdateCanadian Economic Forecast | Student Housing Shortage |  Student Housing Vancouver | Investing in Student Housing | Student Housing Off Campus | Are Student Housing REITS a Good Investment?Housing Market Vancouver | Vancouver Condos | Best Real Estate Investment | Doing Business in Vancouver | Toronto Condo Forecast 2018Auto Insurance Vancouver | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing | Calgary Housing Forecast 2018 | 2018 Stock Market Predictions

It’s a fast growing investment opportunity.   To learn more contact Joyce Soo of Sutton Seafair Realty in Vancouver BC (604) 273-3155.

The US Massive Debt with China and the $20 Trillion Nightmare

OMG: US Debt with China: $1 Trillion + $360 Billion Per Year Active Trade Deficit!

You don’t hear much about the massive US Trade deficit on the major TV networks.  NBC, CNN, CBS, or ABC rarely mention the insidious debt with China and Mexico.  You’d think that a number like $20 Trillion (estimated shortly), $61 Trillion Total Sovereign debt, and a $1 Billion per day deficit would be CNN’s headliner every single day.

It’s unlikely the swamp people will want to help – Pic courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune

Instead, CNN and the rest spend all day attacking Donald Trump.  But then, Trump did say he was going to drain the swamp (including judges).

Unfortunately, Trump is launching another debt-driven campaign which may overheat the economy and grow the debt at more than $1 Trillion per year. Since it’s going into infrastructure spending with private participation, it’s not as toxic as Obama’s debt.  However, Trump did say he wanted all shelves filled with nuclear bombs which is pretty much insanity.




As a result, he’s paying the price in the media for doing good deeds. Let’s hope he gets these things done before he’s impeached for conflict of interest. Because the US is in big debt trouble and Trump is the only one with a solution. And how ironic it would be if the US becomes seriously indebted to Mexico!

Yet, it’s a taboo topic lurking in the dark. But when interest rates rise, this villian will walk through the curtains and into the limelight.  Are China and Mexico taking advantage of the US?  The huge debt won’t go away. Rising interest rates to pay the interest on the debt could get out of control. That could impact the housing market and whether people buy homes.

There’s no bubble / crash in foreseeable future, especially with Trump beginning to take control, and as we see investment funds arrive back in the US. The stock market is at a record pace.  Families and individuals need homes. Perhaps what’s at stake is who will be the landlord and who will be the renter. There’s big money in rental property investment and the Chinese have been buying. However, due to Trump’s actions, the Yuan will plummet and Chinese investment will soon be a thing of the past.




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Forecasting the Economy:  Where Should you Work, Invest and Live in the Next 10 Years?

So why don’t we look at the debt’s source, the numbers, the process, and consider what will happen if Donald Trump does manage to improve the situation.

You’ll find some eye-opening data, infographics, links and commentary in this post. Make sure everyone knows! It’s your civil duty. This post will be constantly updated so please bookmark it and share with your contacts.




Ultra wealthy Chinese. Photo courtesy of Ozy.com

And although Americans assume everything is good right now with “full employment” there’s a big “debt catch” with Obama’s legacy. With $500 Billion overall deficit in 2016 and almost $20 Trillion overall, the spirit, vitality, hope and wealth of the US is persistently eroded. The reason for the media silence is denial, and the so-called economic expert’s inability to make an emotional impact with Americans.  There is no coincidence that the deficit has coincided with America’s slide into despair the last 20 years.

The US National Trade Deficit with China was $4 Trillion since 2000 — and a Growth Rate of 300% in the last few years

“Our nation stands at the crossroads of liberty. Crushing national debt, rampant illegal immigration, insane business regulations and staggering national unemployment are pushing our nation into unchartered territory.”  — James Lankford from Brainy Quote.

US Trade Deficits with The World

Graphic Courtesy of PBS.org

6 of 20 Trillion Dollar Debt is Owned by Foreigners

Some suggest China may even threaten or blackmail the US over trade sanctions by calling in that debt. Doubtful, but how was this debt situation allowed by the US government?

 

Please Share this Post with others. Everyone around the world should know about the US national debt and deficit. This is something no 4 year job recovery can eliminate.




I think it really scares us that we’re staring at $20 trillion in debt, not knowing how our grandchildren will repay it,” says Bob Kuck, a retiree living in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida  — from CNN’s report: Is anyone worried about America’s $19 trillion debt? by Heather Long.

Of all the threats that America faces, it’s the quietest one that could bring the country down. Some may wonder if it’s too late for the US government to do anything about. And before Trump became President, he recognized how miserable the prospect of dealing with this gigantic national debtload is, grow the housing and investment outlook, and bring back good paying jobs. But he took the challenge anyway. It’s either heroic or suicidal.

Millennials and Gen Z’s Will be Paying the Bill

Tens of millions of millennial students having already been wrung through the US college educational system. They spent 4 to 7 years for an expensive education they’ll barely use along with a a whopping $1 Trillion in government backed student loans.  They will be paying for all of it and Gen Z’s will be joining them. But don’t worry, Trump’s got a plan for you.

The purpose of the education system has been to create great jobs for teachers, not for educational efficiency and productivity.

As Trump brings jobs back, the question is whether these stressed out, indebted, wrongly educated workers can step up to the plate. I think we’re all optimistic the kids will bale us out. And what Americans can’t do, you can easily immigrate to fill. Make America Great will be the slogan of Millennials shortly, but they’ll never forget all the debt.




$360 Billion per Year! $1 Billion per Day

The US National Debt with China alone has now grown to $360 Billion per year. In a 6 year span, that is $1.6 Trillion, $4 Trillion since 2000. Just to pay the interest on that debt is a sizable chunk of US GDP.

Donald Trump says he’ll tackle it, but the last time I saw a mouse attack a Lion, the outcome was not favorable for the mouse. The picture the media presents of China is still one of impoverished yet diligent and deserving workers glad to have a job. But China’s not like that anymore. China is rich.

China’s robot factories are growing fast which has raised concerns about millions of layoffs of Chinese workers. Only a smaller number of engineers and technicians might be needed. Now they may have unemployed robots as well.

Chinese workers assisting robots. Photo courtesy of hangthebankers.com

Why Is the US National Debt so High?

The persistent trade deficits are a big reason. Obama/Clinton never talked about it, in fact, Obama spent $8 Trillion in the terrorist aftermath. A good portion of that handout was never traced. They don’t even know where that money went. The debt to China directly is now over $1 Trillion. Now China is able to buy up property and companies here like it’s a fire sale.

Another reason for the debt is Free Trade. While free trade was a theoretically good idea 20 years ago when I was studying International Business and Trade in college, it’s no longer so. Today, it’s a losing business concept for the US.

The fact US investment dollars are going to former third world countries to benefit their economies and creating jobs for them instead of in the US is bad enough. Further, these countries (China, Mexico) manipulate their currencies to keep an ongoing and artificial trade advantage. As Trump suggests, they play the currency markets like Candice Swanepoel plays the fiddle. China isn’t so genius at it though. They just demanded it.

I have to say that I’m saddened that Richard Branson invited Barack Obama to Necker island, and that he’s also asked the UK government to reconsider leaving the EU.  The UK has it’s own massive deficit, which deserves its own blog post. This picture tells it all. The UK had to leave the EU. Brexit was a survival decision not a new vision for the UK.

Game of Monopoly: China Won. Let’s Start Over Again

Graphic courtesy of Wikipedia

When free trade theory was idealized and touted strongly decades ago, they didn’t consider the effect of currency manipulation and the ongoing human rot that occurs with overspecialization. And they wouldn’t admit to where it would lead.




The game of monopoly is the same. Inevitably, one player claims everything. In the real world, countries make excuses for cheating and not being fair.  Worse, countries can specialize themselves out of existance. When countries have no options left, amidst cheating, it can lead to wars.

Choose Your Economic Theories Well

The economic theories of specialization and economies of scale works wonderfully, until the rising countries have all the investment money and a continuous way of beating the falling countries. If the free trade situation persists, countries like the US and the UK will continue to collapse. They collapse because their overspecialized workforce/businesses get caught in trade and technology circumstances, the same way an unemployed worker in Ohio or Michigan finds themselves suddently without a job through no fault of their own and their home is valued as worthless.

When countries grab up a monopoly on technology, distribution, investment flows, jobs, skills, education, etc., it’s unfair. Right now, Americans have limited job opportunities. And should an American want to be an engineer, or other high tech workers, they may have to move to Mexico or China.

Each country should have a well rounded economy for true economic health and prosperity

Some like the Democrats, want this situation to continue forever. The fact is, the skilled, sustainable, good paying jobs must return to the US, if only to pay the national debt.

Further Reading:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2016/03/28/u-s-debt-is-heading-toward-20-trillion-where-its-been-where-its-going-and-why/

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-americas-debt-bomb-wont-explode-yet-12963

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-01-31/3-student-loan-reforms-to-expect-under-trump

What are your thoughts on the jobs outlook for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020? Is free trade about to transition to fair trade?  Will the housing sector survive the fight with the deficit or is a housing crash inevitable? Is buying gold a good hedge strategy?

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Toronto Real Estate Market Forecast – The Pros and Cons of Homebuying in 2017

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

A Laser Clear View of Toronto Housing — 2017 to 2018

Spring 2017 is almost here in Toronto, and tens of thousands of homebuyers will make the decision to buy a home. Yet buyers are confused, not because it may be a housing bubble, but because they can’t picture the value clearly, perhaps in numbers.   

The question of whether to buy a home isn’t about seasons, and housing type, or even the neighbourhood. There’s more important factors to considers and you should weigh your pros and cons carefully.

But for some Toronto residents, do they even have a choice? We all have to live somewhere, and it doesn’t seem there’s enough homes to go around.

While Canada is suffering its worst ever performance in attracting foreign investment, foreign purchase of homes here has been high. Foreigners are desperate to park their money somewhere. With that, Vancouver, Kelowna, Toronto, Mississauga and even Montreal have seen their housing markets explode in price. Many of these properties sit idle and empty, waiting for a quick flip.




Yet our hyperactive housing market hides a big secret — our economy is not so hot.  If not for the US revival occuring now, you’d have to say Canada’s future is very bleak — hence the lack of investment. Foreign investors are giving Canada a big thumbs down.




Vancouver Danger Signals

When BC applied its foreign buyers tax, it effectively killed the housing market in Vancouver. And with Toronto booming and its prices continuing a rocketing pace, will the Ontario government take similar action? While TREB might describe the market as balanced, it is a precarious, bubble like one where an irreversible slide might grow to a crash. Is this really a good time to invest in Toronto homes? Let’s look further.

Screen Capture courtesy of Teranet and the National Bank of Canada

The Key Role of Foreign Buyers in Toronto Real Estate

Foreign money may well be the key to Toronto Real Estate Market in recent years. Canadian investment in US property has fallen dramatically because of the sagging loonie, and perhaps due to new border restrictions expected by the Trump government. Canadians will now only be able to afford to buy in Canada. And many are selling their US properties to cash out their windfall. With that, they’ll likely be competing for GTA homes.

With the loonie so cheap against the US dollar, properties in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, and York Region look very inviting to Middle Eastern, Chinese and US buyers. Political and economic turmoil may well see foreign investors tune into Canada as a safe alternative to the US. Toronto real estate will be their first choice.

The Toronto Real Estate Board just reported another record month of sales on the Toronto MLS for January, and there is no sense or data to suggest condo and home prices won’t keep climbing.

8 Fundamentals of Rising Home Prices to Look for:

1. limited housing availability and people have to live somewhere
2. continued staunch refusal of homeowners to sell their properties
3. low mortgage rates rising only slightly
4. influx of foreign investment money from the Middle East, Russia, Germany and China
5. strong US economy set to spill over into Canada
6. high numbers of Millennials looking to buy their first home
7. condo rental prices are high with low availability meaning a sizble pool of potential buyers exists
8. immigation volume into Toronto is high thus soaking up rentals and creating more buyers from across the globe

The above fundamentals speak well of home prices in Toronto. As long as a US economic disaster doesn’t occur, the Toronto market looks okay. The question then becomes one of do you really want to buy vs rent? Can you afford repairs, taxes, and to commute to this location? Should you buy now so you can lock in at lower mortgage rates?

Worries on the Horizon

However, there is the negative side of the coin. Canadian debt loads are very high, bordering on crisis levels, and should interest rates rise, these same people may face foreclosure. If mortgage rates rise, few buyers will be able to buy at today’s prices. If prices are too high with a threat of a housing crash, fewer people will willingly take that big risk.

Screen Capture courtesy of Politiscope

The biggest factor for a housing crash or continued growth comes from the US. The repatriation of jobs and business investment back into the United States is the biggest news story of the last 3 decades but there’s worries Canada might be shut out.




Note: Vancouver’s Market has Stopped Rising but Hasn’t Crashed

If the US can carve away at its monstrous trade imbalances and bring back the American middle class, the effects on American wealth will be dramatic. We’ve all seen what this wealth has created in Dubai, China, and Mexico. When all that wealth returns to the US, it will spill over into the Toronto Real Estate market.

The Canadian economy, particularly Toronto’s is intimately tied to with the US, both parties would be devastated by a break in trade. But Donald Trump may have little intention of alienating Canada, even with Justin Trudeau at its helm. The biggest threat we face is Donald Trump’s dislike of Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau’s lack of sympathy and joy for the great American revival will gnaw at Trump’s government.  Canada may receive a weaker bilateral trade agreement, which Trudeau will have to negotiate. It could be much worse than the softwood trade has been.

The second biggest factor will be the lack of housing availability. Ontario’s governmental regulations on land development near Toronto is crippling growth. Its plan to intensify development in certain cities such as Markham, North York, and Mississauga will supercharge prices in those areas. Ontario’s high flying tax increases will further put upward pressure on house prices and make home ownership more costly.




Statscan reported job growth only in Ontario, with 20,000 new jobs. This followed on the heels of last month’s 74,000 new part time jobs. People working part time or with low wages can’t buy homes. The future lies with a growth in Canadian exports (the low loonie didn’t make that happen, likely because other countries are manipulating their currency downward for persistent advantage).

With demand continuing right through the winter, it’s hard to believe it won’t be a record spring for the Toronto market. The anticipation of the great American Revival will play increasingly on the psyche of hopeful buyers and those who would like higher paying jobs. It’s this anticipation that will have the greatest effect on where anyone will willingly purchase an average $600k to $1.5 million dollar condo or home.

It takes courage to buy a home, and courage should be built on a systematic pros and cons assessment of real estate investment.  I hope your analysis gives you the right outcome. If you’re looking to buy in the Toronto area, please visit my Toronto homes for sale page.

Further reading:

Forecasts of political intervention by Canada’s biggest banks: http://business.financialpost.com/news/property-post/canadas-biggest-bank-warns-of-possible-cooling-measures-coming-to-toronto-housing-market

Best time to buy a home: https://www.newhomesource.com/resourcecenter/articles/smart-time-to-buy-a-new-home

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How to Be the King or Queen of Real Estate Agents

Maximum Exposure, Maximum Engagement

Home prices in Vancouver continue their upward spiral. An interesting insight from an REW survey discussed in the Vancouver Courier suggests that wealth transfer from baby boomers to their Gen X and Gen Y kids is partly responsible for the demand and prices in the Vancouver real restate market.

costacouple
“kids, we’re having a great time in Costa Rica. Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful idea.”

Add that to the scarcity of supply and increasing demand from desperate Chinese investors along with the low loonie, and you have an overheated market. Amidst all that, is high potential for real estate transactions. Are you getting your share of exposure and engagement with buyers and sellers?

As a realtor, wouldn’t it be nice for you to enjoy top exposure to all these new buyers? Who cares who has the money or how they got it? The fact is, there are plenty of buyers. Sellers however are a different story. I’ve got a solution that matches up perfectly with retiring baby boomers – a key market.

Sellers Don’t Sell unless they have a Better Life to Move Onto

Why would anyone leave their beloved home and neighbourhood without something better to go to? If they sell their house in Vancouver, they could move out to Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, or to the Okanagan, but maybe that’s not a dream life for them. You only live once. Are they just bored people waiting for a really great idea?

You Can’t Create a Customer, if you can’t Create a Dream.

Tax Free Costa Rica real estate 1I think the answer is even more extreme, and it’s a pleasant one for anyone retired or near retirement. The solution is to sell them on moving to Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Costa Rica, or Belize. It is possible for them to sell their million dollar home and then live in these locations like royalty.

The point is, to get people to leave their lives in Vancouver, you have to paint an exciting new life for them elsewhere (even if it’s Kelowna or Port Hardy). If they believe it, you’ve got yourself a new client. And perhaps their kids will need some new homes and mortgages too!

That’s why I’ve combined travel and real estate as a compelling duo. The two professions can work magic together. I intend to add in investing to complete a very compelling value proposition. You can do the same thing.

Real Estate + Travel + Health + Lifestyle + Happy Family = Success

A Healthier, Happier Lifestyle – Good for the Whole Family

costa ricaA new life elsewhere would be a life tonic for many people in Vancouver. These other locations offer warm weather, blue skies, and plenty of outdoor activities. And you know as well that restaurants and health care are a strong suit for these places. Costa Rica for instance has a phenomenal health care system that is affordable. That’s fueling the burgeoning medical tourism industries in these countries. It’s driven by the expensive US healthcare system, however our medical services are becoming more expensive everyday.

couplesellinghouseThere’s lots of potential in this marketing strategy. Perhaps you can align with a travel agency and an investment advisor to deliver a more persuasive communications strategy. You could also work with me to build a powerful content strategy that gives you presence in Google rankings, and on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin.

Content strategy is the hottest thing going in digital marketing. Because online, content is what people see and consume. Design your content to greet these sellers, get them engaged in your marketing material,and to convince them, and you actually can begin to create home sellers.

So if you’re waiting around for a call from a seller, you might be wasting your time. The best approach is a proactive one guided by strategy. Read a few other posts on my blog and you’ll gain some innovative ideas that break the tired old paradigms that still guide many real estate agents.

Think about how you will create a fascinating, persuasive, and compelling unique value proposition, and reach millions of homeowners/investors via social media and Google search. You’re as persuasive as you want to be.

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