Canadian commercial investment to intensify this year

A report from Avison Young Canada Inc. earlier this month indicated that as of 2018, commercial property investment nationwide exceeded the previous high of $36 billion in the year before that to reach a new record – and this momentum is expected to last for much of 2019.

This is due to a 40-year low in unemployment rates along with sustained commercial scarcity in markets nationwide.

“We continue to feel very positive about opportunities in the real estate environment for the year ahead,” Avison Young Canada CEO Mark Rose said earlier this week, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“More capital is available to move into real estate debt and equity than at any other time. The next wave of investment is not a matter of if or when -- it’s just a matter of price.”

Read more: Asset class takes industrial sector by storm

Office vacancy rates declined in nearly every market nationwide, bringing the overall average down to 11% by the end of 2018.

Office construction nearly doubled last year to more than 22 million square feet. A large portion of this new supply is predicted to be in the suburbs, taking into account rate hikes and extreme space constraints in downtown areas.

Industrial vacancies fell to a historic low of 2.9% near the end of 2018, with vacancy levels in Toronto (1.3%) and Vancouver (1.5%) among the lowest in the continent. Construction was also at more than 20 million sq. ft. in 2018, far outstripping 2017’s 14 million sq. ft.

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