Commercial activity in the GTA slipped last quarter

Commercial leasing and sales activity in the Greater Toronto Area was down in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Toronto Real Estate Board says that there was a 5.1 per cent drop year-over-year in leased space (5,849,174 square feet) with industrial accounting for the largest share.

“The demand for commercial real estate has a lot to do with businesses’ outlooks on the future of the economy, in general, and the direction of their particular economic sector,” commented Larry Cerqua, TREB president. 

The average industrial lease rate on a per square foot net basis, for transactions with pricing disclosed, was up by 2.1 per cent to $6.23 compared to $6.10 in Q4 2015.  The average commercial/retail lease rate was up year-over-year but the office lease rate was down compared to last year.

Sales activity was also lower with 253 properties changing hands in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with 337 a year earlier. Prices were higher.

“Growth in the economy was somewhat volatile in 2016,” added Cerqua. “On top of this, there may remain some uncertainty with regard to the impact of the US elections going forward.  It is likely that many GTA firms have taken a wait and see attitude towards property investment until the trajectory of the Canadian economy becomes more certain.”
 

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