Once a year, my daughter Linda and I travel to Europe as a part of our annual estate marketing strategy. This trip takes us to several European countries over two weeks, including; Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and England. For decades, we have been doing this to network with buyers and sellers promoting properties from our diverse landholding portfolio. This planned tour allows us to take in trade shows, network and take meetings from specific clients that are interested in selling and owning property in British Columbia. We usually find this trip pleasant, but over the course of the last two visits, we have noticed perception changes that will have spin-off consequences to our provincial land market. The “school of thought” with our clients has changed. The average person seems to be way more pessimistic than they were just 24 months ago about the state of European social and economic affairs. After discussing and compiling the feedback, there are several happenings that we can attribute to their somber attitudes. Here in Canada, significant changes will be coming to the landholdings markets as a result the following:
1. The European Commission pointed out that Europe is losing 1,000 farms per day, to be accurate 400,000 farms/ranches per year. It is projected that the agriculture industry will decline its crop, livestock, and other agri-production due to climate change in high significant numbers. (base European /Environment Agency EEA)
2. Europe powerhouse Germany is in a structural crisis. Angela Merkel was voted with only 30per cent of the votes, and 70per cent of the voting population in Germany is not OK with her politics. Angela Merkel’s lax immigration politics does not find the approval of the people.
3. France is for months now in a crisis with its population. The movement originated with French motorists from rural areas who had long commutes protesting against an increase in fuel taxes and has developed to a protest about the Macrons pension reforms.
4. England is leaving the EU, and for some people, this is the end of the European Union, but for sure, the end for Britain’s prosperity. I personally see a massive chance for new healthy growth of an independent United Kingdom. England did leave Europe for a reason!
5. Between the east and west of Europe and the north and south of Europe are significant differences in views about immigration, trade regulation with the US, fiscal politics, and everything else.
Many people we had to pleasure to speak with, foresaw the ending of the European Union, citing factors like the fiscal mismanagement by the European Central bank and their negative yields. That’s the number one reason for billions of Euros leaving the old continent. Most of the European press is anti-Trump, but the money that leaves Europe goes in big margins to the USA, it must not be so bad south of our border! But, when it comes to safety, Canada is the third safest place on this planet, and a lot of European money is also moving in our direction as people leave Europe and look for a more stable future elsewhere. In the past year, stats show 320,932 immigrants landed in Canada, the most significant annual number since July 1971, when comparable records started. Statistics Canada said in its yearly population count that we saw a 33.3 per cent increase over the prior year, when 240,844 immigrants came to Canada, the fastest growth in nearly three decades.