Take Stock – December 31

Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:REF.UN) has acquired a 50 per cent stake in a set of Edmonton retail properties for $39.2 million, the property company announced Wednesday. CREIT said it will assume a $5.7 million first mortgage,

Canadian REIT acquires stake in Edmonton mall

Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:REF.UN) has acquired a 50 per cent stake in a set of Edmonton retail properties for $39.2 million, the property company announced Wednesday. CREIT said it will assume a $5.7 million first mortgage, carrying an interest rate of 5.9 per cent and a term to maturity of 8.2 years for properties that form part of the South Edmonton Common shopping centre.

The centre is currently made up of 2.1 million square feet of retail space and includes an IKEA, Walmart, Home Depot and Loblaw Superstore.

CREIT’s stake includes 60,000 square feet of fully developed leasable area as well as property under re-development and retail development land.

Existing tenants include Tim Hortons/Wendy’s, Petro-Canada and The Keg Steakhouse. The average remaining lease term for the properties is about eight years.


Economists predict slow job growth in 2010

The economy might be on the rebound, but economists warn 2010 will be a year of slow job growth with manufacturing bringing up the rear. ScotiaBank chief economist Warren Jestin says in a normal year, on average, the economy grows about 300,000 jobs.

But over the next year, he says, we will probably not exceed more than 200,000 jobs — what he calls a “pretty muted performance.” Since employment peaked in October 2008, Canada has lost about 320,000 jobs. When the economy recovers, it is expected to look much different than before the downturn because manufacturing jobs won’t likely return to previous levels. TD Bank chief economist Don Drummond says Canada will continue an evolution away from goods and towards services. According to Statistics Canada, there were 2.249 million manufacturing jobs in 2000. By 2008, that number had fallen to 1.97 million — a loss of about 280,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the services sector grew to 13.104 million workers in 2008 from 10.942 million in 2000 — a gain of more than two million jobs.

“We’re going to be seeing the development of a much more specialized type of manufacturing,” said Jayson Myers, president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

“It will be more customized, specialized, hi-tech and around that the jobs will be in engineering, design and technology.”