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Would a Trump presidency affect Canadian real estate prices?

Are Americans taking the prospect seriously and looking north?


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April 26, 2016 by John Bleasby

With Donald Trump sweeping this week’s Super Tuesday caucuses, and leading in the Republican presidential nominee race overall, the world scurries to consider the consequences if he were actually elected president. Could there be an outflow of American investment and people to other countries – including Canada?

Come to Cape Breton, or just about anywhere up here!

"Go North, young man", says The Donald...once described by Spy magazine as a short-fingered vulgarian

“Go North, young man”, says The Donald…once described by Spy magazine as “a short-fingered vulgarian”

What started out as a prank website promoting Cape Breton as a haven for Americans fleeing a possible Trump-led America may have some basis in reality. In its quarterly housing report issued earlier this month, Phil Soper, CEO of Canadian real estate giant Royal LePage, alluded to many factors currently boosting home and real estate prices in Canada. Trump is one Soper specifically mentions. “While this is not new news, the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency has put renewed global focus on the often stark differences in opportunity and attitude that exist on either side of our huge border.”

There are of course a great number of reports in the media, and an equal amount of do-nothing blustering from provincial and federal government leaders, concerning the sky-rocketing prices of houses and condos in Toronto and Vancouver. Foreign buyers are blamed, but one must wonder how many buyers are in fact American – and not the often cited Chinese and Russian – investors. After all, with the Canadian dollar and interest rates relatively low, a timely investment in Canada might appeal to our southern neighbors.

Pursuit of liberty, and flight from The Donald
The Cape Breton web site plays on a theme close to American’s hearts; the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, something the Trump campaign has attacked directly with promises of border walls, forced emigration, bans on Muslims entering the USA, and threats to unwind international trade deals. As the site proclaims “…over one million people from around the world have come to learn more about our island.  But the truth is, we welcome all, no matter who you support, be it Democrat, Republican or Donald Trump…”

CapeBretonVisits to Cape Breton’s official website jumped to over 450,000 hits from mid-February to early March this year, versus 10,000 during the same period the year before, causing  Royal Lepage’s Soper to observe “While we may just be a curiosity for many in the United States, the Cape Breton advertising campaign urging Americans to move north, as well as the record number of Americans googling ‘how to move to Canada’ reinforces the worldwide strength of brand-Canada as a prosperous and tolerant place to raise a family.” He also comments that historically, Canada’s miracle has been the ability to attract immigration from all over the world.

Maybe Trump’s real estate empire is a buyer itself!
Donald-Trump-Hair-Blowing-in-Wind
Trump’s main man in Canada (something to be very proud of, to be sure) responded in typical Trump-empire fashion, noting that there was potential money to be made in Canadian real estate. George Ross, Executive Vice President and Senior Counsel to the Trump Organisation told BNN that “Canada is a vibrant economy and some people ought to step in and take advantage of it. I think it’s under-utilized – not over-utilized.”

 

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