Canada hits record level in commercial real estate sales

CALGARY — Real estate firm CBRE says Canada hit a record level for commercial real estate sales in the third quarter and is on track to beat an annual record set during the 2007 boom.

The firm says sales of office space, apartments, land and other commercial properties hit $11.2 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, and forecast that for the full year there will be more than $35 billion in deals across the country to surpass the current $32.1-billion record.

Greg Kwong, regional managing director of CBRE Calgary, said overall Canada has benefited from investors looking for stable returns in a low-growth world.

“Most investors are looking for yield, because they can’t get it in the banks, in the treasury bills, in bonds,” said Kwong.

In the third quarter, Toronto kept its top spot for commercial investments at $3.5 billion and Vancouver saw $1.6 billion in transactions, with activity in both cities above the 30-month average.

In Calgary, where office vacancies have shot to record highs, sales still managed to jump 146 per cent to $1.2 billion compared with the previous quarter.

Kwong said the ramp-up in Calgary could be maintained because investors are looking at a wide range of assets including industrial and retail properties, though last quarter’s spike was driven largely by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board making a major office space buy.

“We think it’s sustainable because demand’s not just coming from one sector,” said Kwong.

Improved oil prices and market sentiment has also made the city look like a more promising bet for the long term, even if buyers might have to ride through some short-term losses, he said.

“The overall theme is a lot of people think that this is the bottom, and that prices have come off to a point where they think it’s attractive to dive back into the market, or increase their market share.”

Edmonton also saw a spike in activity in the third quarter, with sales up 55 per cent to $714 million compared to the previous quarter, while Waterloo, Ont., had an 81 per cent jump to reach $395 million over the same time period.

Foreign buyers helped push the national numbers up with almost $3 billion in spending in the last quarter — up 22 per cent from the first half of the year — with most of the buying directed at hotels.

For the second time this year foreign buyers overtook private Canadian investors in deals of over $10 million, CBRE found.

As of the end of the third quarter, foreign buyers had accounted for about a third of investment in such deals this year, on par with private investors and ahead of pension funds at about 18 per cent.

Just Posted

Red Deer Mountie sexual assault trial begins

RCMP officer facing sexual assault with a weapon and breach of trust charges

Power outages expected for Normandeau during electrical upgrade

Customers could experience more than one outage

YMCA to operate Red Deer’s new Northside Community Centre opens July 2

Red Deerians have long been anticipating the opening of the new municipally-owned… Continue reading

Teen reported missing in Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP seek information on teen

Air Canada reviewing how crew left passenger on parked plane

Air Canada said Sunday it’s looking into how crew members could have… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Cavallini, David scores 3 goals, Canada defeats Cuba 7-0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach John Herdman couldn’t be happier about the state… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse lands same job with Canada’s men’s team

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is the new coach of Canada’s… Continue reading

Steamy romance novelist Judith Krantz dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Writer Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as “Scruples”… Continue reading

Flying Wallendas safely cross Times Square on high wire

NEW YORK — Two siblings from the famed Flying Wallendas safely crossed… Continue reading

UK: Police visit incident dogs Johnson’s leadership campaign

LONDON — The leading contender to become Britain’s next prime minister is… Continue reading

Trump: ‘Surprise’ question about Pence led him to hesitate

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he hesitated when asked about endorsing… Continue reading

Indigenous drummers lead pipeline protesters on 22-kilometre march in Victoria

VICTORIA — The government approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion won’t stop… Continue reading

Retired UBC professor Peter Winterburn killed in Chile, school confirms

VALPARAISO, Chile — A retired geochemistry professor from the University of British… Continue reading

Most Read