9 Global Trends That May Affect Your Market

November 6, 2016

Sometimes it's obvious how global shifts can rock the real estate industry world-wide, such as when the Brexit vote caused British investors to pull back due to a falling pound this summer and fall. Other signs are subtler. And as Carla Rayman, CIPS, e-PRO, GRI, told attendees at a session analyzing shifts in the global real estate market at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday, some are even quite sweet.

“Look for the macaroons and market to the French,” she advised. She explained that one of the ways French citizens find to emigrate is by opening shops featuring the delicious pastries their country is known for. “That’s one of the franchises they use to move.”

Her business partner and co-presenter, Patricia Tan CIPS, GRI, added that many of the macaroon shops we’re seeing pop up in the United States may be traceable to the left-wing policies driving up income taxes in France.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be radical, violent change” that influences immigration and foreign investment, she told attendees. “You need to watch for those little changes.”

Rayman and Tan presented noteworthy trends in politics, tourism, and the economy that make an impact on global real estate movements. Here are nine that might help you predict movement in your local market.

  1. Violence and other security issues are causing those in Ukraine, Turkey, and the Middle East to look outside of the region for a new home.
  2. Softer shifts, mostly due to political changes, are driving real estate investment out of the Philippines, Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina.
  3. Vancouver is expecting a 10 percent drop in real estate sales next year due to a new 15 percent sales tax on foreign buyers.
  4. High unemployment was a major motivation for young people in Spain to look abroad, and now the same phenomenon is happening with young Greeks.
  5. The strength of the dollar means many Canadians might be looking to cash out on their vacation homes in the United States. The idea is that they’ll rent for the next few years and come back to buy again when the loonie is more competitive with its southern neighbor.
  6. One of the best ways to predict which countries are going to contribute most to your pool of foreign buyers is to see where tourists are coming from and take note when airlines add new direct flights from other countries to your area.
  7. Eco-tourism was a big driver for foreign visitors, but it’s waning. Next up might be “marijuana tourism” for U.S. states that have legalized the drug.
  8. Blackstone Group is selling a big portion of its investments in hotels and getting back into multifamily. You’ll see more hotel deals in 2017, but due to all the building happening now, an oversupply might lead to a cooling in 2018.
  9. Foreign investment focus may soon shift from New York and Los Angeles to smaller cities and towns that boast attractive events such as large wine, art, and film festivals.

—Meg White, REALTOR® Magazine