Industrial leads CRE market in GTA as overall activity drops

by Steve Randall14 Dec 2018

There was a drop in commercial real estate activity in the GTA in November.

Commercial Network members of Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported 1,782,401 square feet of total leased space across the industrial, commercial/retail and office market segments, 23.9% lower than a year earlier.

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Industrial dominated activity, accounting for almost two thirds of leasing activity.

Despite the decline, TREB president Garry Bhaura remains confident that the underlying CRE market in the GTA is strong.

"While there are certainly issues of concern facing the economy, including recent announcements in the automotive industry and pressures facing the oil and gas industry in Canada, the GTA economy remains strong.  The unemployment rate remains near historic lows in the region.  As we continue to create jobs across many economic sectors, the demand for commercial real estate should remain strong," he said.

Leasing rates positive
Leasing rates, where pricing was disclosed, remained positive across all three major CRE segments in November.

The average industrial lease rate climbed to $7.84, up 15.5% year-over-year; the average office rate also climbed from $12.88 in November 2017 to $16.74 in November 2018; and the average commercial/retail lease rate increased 4.5% from $22.64 in November 2017 to $23.64 in 2018.

There were 46 combined industrial, commercial/retail and office transactions reported through TREB's MLS with pricing disclosed in November 2018, down from 57 transactions in November 2017. 

Annual changes in average sale prices per square foot were varied based on changing market conditions and changes in the mix of properties leased from one year to the next.

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