Real Estate investment has taken a real beating in the past two years. With sluggish markets just beginning to claw their way back, the question the smartest investors are asking is not, “what properties are for sale” but “where is it worth buying?
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) recently released their 2010 emerging trends report for Global Real Estate, which essentially laid out more of the same. While not feeling particularly bullish on any single market, markets that were performing well before the downturn will continue to impress, but markets on the fringe will still struggle to attract attention. Accord to PWC the best places to buy real estate are:
Gateway markets: often near the coast (east or west), with international airports, ports and major commercial centres to back up property values.
Urban Centres: upscale neighbourhoods in the city with safe streets that are pedestrian friendly and highly developed. Usually coupled with easy access to mass transit, and a good blend of amenities like stores, entertainment and recreational spaces all close by.
Smart Cities: having nearby universities, colleges or high paying tech based sectors like computing, finance, biotech or medical centres are good bets for the property market.
On the flip side, PWC advises shying away from bubble-burst markets, fringe areas (like far flung suburbs requiring long commutes, or rural developments) and cities without major amenities or financial drivers.
To make a long story short, PWC highly ranked places like Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver for investment prospects on the West Coast, and Toronto, Ottawa, Washington DC, Boston and New York all got favourable nods on the East Coast. Canadian cities on the whole, fared better than their American counterparts due to Canada’s relatively stronger economy.
What’s interesting about PWC’s pics is that none of these cities were ever known for their boom and bust economies, and all are traditionally more expensive markets. No matter where in the world an investor might be looking at real estate listings to buy properties, the market seems to indicate picking investments based on cities that offer good job prospects and a modern, highly urban lifestyle that’s always been a desirable location. At least for 2010, the safe money seems to be on the safe bet.
Read the PWC Report here.