Capital market panelists here at ULI's Spring Conference in Vancouver said that opportunities for investing can be found all over the world.<@SM>u201cBuilding for flexibility is just as important as building for permits,u201d said Thurber.


VANCOUVER, B.C.—It seems that all capital is global and opportunities for investing can be found all over the world. The keys, according to panelists at the ULI Spring conference, are access and opportunity.

In a keynote panel, titled “Global Capital Flows: Finding the Opportunities,” moderator Remco Daal, president and COO of Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP, joined panelists, users and providers of capital from around the world, to talk about global capital.  

“Capital flows across borders have increased,” said Daal. “Strong capital has flowed into Europe…more than four times what was invested into Europe in 2007.”

Foreign investors are also optimistic about the US, he explained. “Asia also remains on investor radar screens. Its inflows were lead by North American investors…2013′s inflows were double 2012′s numbers.” Globally, CBD office remains the most popular sector to invest in, Daael added.

Roger G. Orf, partner and head of European real estate at Apollo Management International LLP, said that a lot of the easy money has already been made. “The best time to have bought in Europe was in the principal cities, such as Paris, London and Berlin, in 2009 and 2010,” he said. “What we have pursued in the last couple of years has been buying in tertiary markets.”

According to Orf, there are still considerable opportunities on the continent. “Europe in particular doesn’t have the growth prospects America does, but the growth yield compensates for that.”

Graeme Eadie, SVP for real estate with CCP Investment Board, said his firm looks for the right opportunities with the right partners. The region, he explained, “doesn’t affect us too much…we look for a competitive return.”

When Grosvenor Asia Pacific looks at allocating our capital, Nick Loup, chief executive, said it too looks at “sophisticated allocations.” He added that “We look at the fundamentals of about 36 markets.”

Stephen S.S. Wong, chairman and architect of Chongbang Holdings (International) Ltd., agreed, noting that the investor pool now is looking for “sophisticated strategies.” The low hanging fruit is gone, he explained. “You have to work much harder in Asia.


The panel began with a speech from ULI chairman Lynn Thurber, chairman of LaSalle Investment Management, who noted that “Even though we are 30 miles from the border, we are pleased to view our Vancouver location as a reflection of ULI’s growing international presence. There is much we can learn from Vancouver’s track record.”

Thurber zeroed in on technology advancements and tech changes “that will have significant impacts on what we should be building.” As examples, she mentioned drones delivering goods, vertical farms, virtual learning and robots (to name a few examples) of how demand for residential and commercial space will change. “While there is much to contemplate, we need to plan now for the future,” she said. “Building for flexibility is just as important as building for permits.”

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