Thinking big

Commercial real estate investment represents unique set of challenges and rewards

Investing in commercial real estate could be considered the major league of real estate investment.
The skills required are greater, but so too are the potential rewards.

Greg Kwong, regional managing director for commercial real estate company CBRE in Alberta, says there is really no strict definition of commercial real estate – it can be a major office tower in downtown Calgary, a fourplex apartment building or anything in between.

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Core issues

Downtown office commercial market to see higher vacancy rates in 2017

Despite setting a third-quarter record with a reported $11.2 billion in sales, Calgary’s commercial real estate sector will likely see vacancy rates continue to soar this year and next, predicts real estate firm CBRE Ltd.

CBRE Calgary-based managing director Greg Kwong said the downtown market will feel it the hardest, with vacancy rates that are expected to close in on 30 per cent.

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Suburban creativity

Commercial landlords thinking outside of the box in wake of high vacancy rates

Landlords in Calgary’s suburban office market continue to display increasing creativity in the face of rising vacancy rates that are not expected to stem any time soon, says a new report.

In a third quarter report issued earlier this month, Barclay Street Real Estate noted the overall vacancy rate in suburban Calgary rose by
1.1 per cent from the second quarter to 22.3 per cent. Research director Anthony Scott attributed the slight increase to the introduction of new inventory that came to market with significant unleased space.

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Asking vs. achieved

Suburban office vacancies encouraging landlords to be flexible

Calgary’s downtown office vacancies might have been getting all the attention so far this year, but commercial real estate experts point out it’s not alone as the city’s suburban office market continues to experience similar challenges.

“We’re in the doldrums right now,” said Ian Robertson, associate specializing in the suburban office market for Barclay Street Real Estate. “There’s too much space chasing too few tenants. So it’s a bit of a malaise.

“We saw this coming. It took a while for landlords or the market to accept what was happening. But now we accept the reality of where we’re at.”

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Downtown office vacancy rates expected to climb

Lower-class spaces feeling brunt of energy downturn

Vacancy rates in Calgary’s downtown office market have hit historic highs in 2016, and commercial real estate experts are forecasting further declines moving forward.

According to a second-quarter market report by Colliers International in Calgary, the overall vacancy rate in the core has jumped to more than 22 per cent from 20.5 per cent the previous quarter – the equivalent of 618,716 square feet of office space.

Vacancy rates between classes varied, but were steepest in the B-class at 31.8 per cent and C-class at 28.1 per cent. AA- and A-class vacancies were also up from the previous quarter at 17.6 and 18.9 per cent, respectively.

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