Improving economy boosts Calgary’s retail sector

Calgary’s retail market is expected to remain vibrant over the next 12 months due to an improving economy and rising consumer confidence.

A report by Colliers International in Calgary says the shopping centre vacancy rate in the city is expected to drop slightly from 3.21 per cent to three per cent while streetfront vacancy rates are expected to stabilize and hover around the current rate of 5.75 per cent.

“We are still the number one province on a per capita retail (spending) basis by a significant amount above the national average,” said Robert Walker, senior vice-president/partner with Colliers International in Calgary. “That still shows me that despite the vast number of layoffs downtown, the people who are employed are still spending money.

“Our average weekly income is still the highest in the country by a longshot. So they’re still spending money.”

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Positive traction

Real estate officials expect conditions to support turnaround in downtrodden commercial market

Calgary’s commercial real estate market is showing signs it is finally moving on from tough economic conditions that sent vacancy rates soaring and rents plummeting over the past two years, say officials.

‘‘There is a sense in the market that the worst is behind us and that conditions will gradually improve,” said Joe Binfet, managing director/broker of Colliers International in Calgary.

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Five things about Calgary’s commercial office market

By the numbers

With much of the news coming out of Calgary’s commercial market negative, especially for many of those that once toiled away in one of the city’s many office towers, the future of downtown Calgary is, in many ways, up in the air. Adding to the uncertainty are several new office towers set to be added to downtown Calgary in the coming months. CREB®Now looks at some of the numbers coming out of Calgary’s evolving skyline.

16%
Inversely tied to the declining price of oil, the vacancy rate in Calgary’s office market has increased from around six per cent in 2014 to a once unfathomable 18 per cent in 2016, according to commercial real estate firm Colliers International.

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