Small investors fuel Saskatchewan’s commercial real estate market

The commercial real estate market in Regina continues to experience serious growth, according to a new report, but the trend doesn’t necessarily benefit landlords.

The 2013 RE/MAX Commercial Investor Report, which was published this week, highlights the trends and developments in 11 major centres across Canada.

While the report found that commercial inventory remained scarce during the first half of the year, it found that, across Canada, small investors and end users have been particularly active, fuelling demand for multi-unit residential product, industrial product and retail storefront.

Elton Ash, regional executive vice president at RE/MAX of Western Canada, says: “Risk aversion appears to be behind the thrust for commercial product, with owner-operators now investing in themselves.

“Rather than pay rising office, industrial or residential rental rates, end users are competing against small and large investors for prime commercial buildings.

“The trend is especially evident in terms of demand for industrial real estate where a limited supply of product has generated the lofty prices now attached to that sector.”

This strong demand has fueled price increases across the board, with the most pronounced appreciation occurring in Regina, where the price per acre of industrial land almost doubled between 2008 and 2013.

Scott Predenchuck, a commercial broker with RE/MAX in Regina, says: “It’s still a seller’s market. There is a greater demand than there is supply.”

He attributes the growth to the province’s resource and commodity driven market.

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