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Canadian Commercial Investment Property Market Continues to Attract Healthy Demand as Global Economy Heats Up

Outlook remains strong and stable despite recent policy changes

Canadian Economic Outlook & Market Fundamentals
Second Quarter Update 2017

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Despite the strengthening economy driving a rise in interest rates and less accommodative monetary policy, investors in Canadian commercial real estate can expect more of the same strong performance, according to a new report issued by Morguard Corporation ("Morguard") (TSX: MRC).

"After a second consecutive quarter of stronger than expected economic output, projected growth for 2017 has now surpassed 2016 levels, with signs pointing to an early winding down of global monetary stimulus," said Keith Reading, Director of Research at Morguard. "Despite a perceived eagerness to raise interest rates, particularly in the United States, low inflation pressure should continue to act as a buffer against rapid monetary policy change in the near term."

In Canada, early estimates indicate that commercial real estate investment remained brisk during the second quarter despite the spectre of rising interest rates. The office sector is expected to lead the way with $2.0 billion in closing volume, with the retail and industrial asset classes registering more than $1.0 billion each.

"Demand for Canadian commercial real estate continues to outpace supply as Canada remains an attractive, stable option for investment," said Reading. "While we anticipate that interest rates will continue to rise, the change will occur gradually and at levels that remain palatable for investors. There will be little variation in the strength of the Canadian property market in the near term."

The leasing sector also exhibited progress in the second quarter. Nationwide office vacancy rates remained low, powered by record-low vacancy in the Toronto downtown submarket and declining rates in Vancouver and Montreal. Robust office occupancy rates were tempered slightly by Calgary and Edmonton, who are still battling extended oil sector weakness. Similar trends were identified in the industrial sector, with low national vacancy rates despite higher vacancies in the two Alberta population centres.

In the Canadian housing market, recent policy changes began to produce the desired cooling effect. Total sales and average pricing both dipped during the quarter but there are indications that the respite might not last long.

"Historically hot markets like British Columbia, Toronto and Montreal are already showing signs of reheating despite recent cooldown efforts," said Reading. "Long-term, however, the cumulative effect of increasing interest rates should act as a buffer against future housing market imbalance."

The Second Quarter Update of the 2017 Economic Outlook and Market Fundamentals Research Report, released today by Morguard Corporation, provides a detailed analysis of the 2017 real estate investment trends to watch in Canada. The full report is available at www.morguard.com.

About Morguard Corporation

Morguard Corporation is a major North American real estate and property management company. It has extensive retail, office, industrial, hotel and residential holdings owned directly and through its investment in Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust, Morguard North American Residential REIT and Temple Hotels Inc. Morguard also provides real estate management services to institutional and other investors. Morguard's owned and managed portfolio of assets is valued at $21.9 billion.

For more information, please visit www.morguard.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

Forward Looking Statement Disclaimer

Statements contained herein that are not based on historical or current fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "anticipates," "believes," "may," "continue," "estimate," "expects" and "will" and words of similar expression, constitute "forward-looking statements." Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: general economic and business conditions, both nationally and regionally; changes in business strategy; financing risk; existing governmental regulations and changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations; liability and other claims asserted; and other factors. Given these uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Publisher does not assume the obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Morguard Corporation

Morguard Corporation, K. Rai Sahi, Chief Executive Officer, T 905-281-3800; Keith Reading, Director of Research, T 905-281-3800