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Traveling through Canada this week for various Emerging Trends events, it’s striking the differences in the condition of the financial and real estate markets between this culturally conservative nation and the United States. While the U.S. continues to stagger through unremitting doldrums, Canada has been an island in the storm of global economic meltdown. In particular, its real estate investors have been sleeping well. Can you imagine not one commercial real estate loan greater than $10 million has defaulted here coming out of what was a rather mild recession? Not one. The major office market vacancies all stand well under 10 percent mostly in mid single digits, retail vacancies settle below 5% nationally, apartment markets are even tighter than in the U.S. too, ditto industrials despite the ongoing travail to the south with the country’s biggest trading partner (us). Only hotels may be weaker—held back by continuing softness in U.S.-related business and tourist travel.

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