“For the first time in several years we are starting to see big opportunities unfold right here in Canada, where you have conflicting forces affecting the market,” says Ryan Fitzgerald, the lead portfolio manager of Signature Real Estate Pool, CI Investments. “You have a bearish sentiment on the Canadian economy and the Canadian dollar, which is making foreign investors stay away, and making retail investors – who still make up a large portion of the Canadian REIT universe – quite skittish, and don’t appear to be adding money to the sector.”
Meanwhile, there are legitimate questions around underlying property fundamentals, says Fitzgerald, creating a situation where the property stocks are trading at a discount to the underlying valuation of the property.
“Any way you look at it, we’re starting to see interesting investing opportunities opening up in Canada,” Fitzgerald told WP. “I wouldn’t say jump in with both feet right away, but it is something to keep tabs on.”
While Fitzgerald is optimistic about the domestic market, he acknowledges that the majority of opportunities do lie in the US, and CI is increasingly putting its money where its mouth is.
The fund provider has launched a new real estate pool and US income pool as well as an expanded choice of funds within CI Private Investment Management, a program for affluent investors.