Despite Calgary’s Commercial Real Estate Activity in 2018, Uncertainty Remains Heading into 2019
2018 registered a total of 589 sales transactions over $1 million, representing a total value of $3.7 billion
CALGARY ‒ Altus Group, a leading provider of software, data solutions and independent advisory services to the commercial real estate industry, today announced the year end results for commercial real estate investment in the Calgary market area for 2018. Q4 2018 saw $1.2 billion in commercial sales, bringing the annual total up to $3.7 billion. Total investment in 2018 is up 16% and is the third consecutive year of growth. This year’s total is 23% down from the high mark of the last decade, set in 2012.
The recently completed Altus Investment Trends Survey indicating mixed sentiment regarding the direction of capitalization rates by asset class. Industrial and retail assets are expected to continue a trend of compression; industrial a result of growth in e-commerce driving the desire for well positioned logistics and distribution facilities and retail benefiting from steady demand for well positioned, multi-tenant, assets. Apartment cap rates are projected to be flat with investors expected to remain cautious in the face of a depressed housing market and competition from both purpose-built rental and residential conversions. Office cap rates are expected to rise as lingering vacancy and energy sector challenges contribute to depreciated values.
(Calgary Property Transactions – All Sectors by Year)
The industrial sector had its best year over the past decade, with 132 transactions amounting to an investment total of $758 million, representing 14% growth from the previous year. The demand for industrial assets has been strong throughout the year as vacancy rates have continued to fall. Notable transactions occurring in Q4 included:
- 5500 72nd Avenue SE, which was acquired for $37.6 million by Skyline REIT, part of a portfolio
- 6980 108th Avenue SE, a logistics facility accompanied by nearby development land, acquired for $36.7 million by Enright and Crestpoint
- 1802-1810 Centre Avenue NE, acquired for $36.3 million by Manulife.
The office sector saw 43 transactions worth $960 million in 2018, an increase of 21% over 2017. The largest sale of the year occurred in Q4 with Aspen Properties acquisition of Sun Life Plaza for $225 million. Aspen Properties, along with Slate Office REIT, and Hines make up the top three investors in the office category through 2018. Together these three purchasers contributed 55% toward overall office investment in 2018. Office activity led all other asset classes in terms of overall investment, representing 26% of market share. Much of this can be attributed to several major transactions coming from a mix of private and public capital.
(Calgary Q4 2018 Property Transactions – Total $ Volume by Sector)
The retail sector experienced strengthening demand for both community and neighborhood shopping centres in 2018 resulting in a 14% increase from the previous year. The top three market transactions for 2018 were:
- The Market at Quarry Park, acquired by LaSalle for $52.7 million
- Cascade Shops in Banff, acquired by Atlas Development Corporation for $43 million
- 5809 MacLeod Trail SW, acquired by CO-OP for $26.4 million
Apartment sector activity increased by 8% in 2018 with $348 million invested over 58 transactions. Of the activity in 2018, 68% occurred in Q4, demonstrating the variable demand for multi-family product. The top transaction of the year was The Treo at Sherwood, a 158 unit complex bought by Killam REIT for $39 million.
Residential and ICI land markets both recorded increases over 2017 of 18% and 27% respectively. Residential land posted 93 transactions worth a total of $620 million and ICI land saw 183 transactions worth $546 million in 2018.
“2018 saw increases in investment across all sectors when compared to the previous year, however this has not translated into the higher volumes seen in the past. What it has demonstrated is that the market is continuing along a path of recovery, and until some of the uncertainty surrounding the greater economy is resolved, it is likely that 2019 will follow a similar path as 2018,” noted Ben Tatterton, Manager, Data Solutions at Altus Group.
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Data Solutions connects the Canadian real estate industry through the delivery of data with unparalleled breadth, integrity and relevance. We cover new homes, investment transactions and commercial market inventory in key markets, and also provide intelligence on the national housing market and consumer home buying and borrowing patterns.
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ABOUT ALTUS GROUP LIMITED
Altus Group Limited is a leading provider of independent advisory services, software and data solutions to the global commercial real estate industry. Our businesses, Altus Analytics and Altus Expert Services, reflect decades of experience, a range of expertise, and technology-enabled capabilities. Our solutions empower clients to analyze, gain insight and recognize value on their real estate investments. Headquartered in Canada, we have approximately 2,500 employees around the world, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our clients include some of the world’s largest real estate industry participants across a variety of sectors. Altus Group pays a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share and our shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol AIF.
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