Canada investment outlook - Mid-year 2021

Canadian investment market rides strong rebound into the summer

September 16, 2021

Commercial real estate investment in Canada surpassed $25 billion through the first half of the year, its strongest pace in three years.  Investors – flush with cash and now able to physically tour facilities – are eager to be part of the action. While there is concern about the longevity of COVID variants and inflation, sale volumes suggest that investors are willing to accept short-term risks in order to build a portfolio that is robust in the long run. 

Highlights by sector:

  • Office: Cap rates have stabilized after sharp hikes throughout 2020, but liquidity is on its slowest annual pace since 2009.
  • Industrial: Industrial sales have already topped 2020 levels as investors of all stripes look to pile in. With vacancy level at a record low, the construction pipeline is at a historic high.
  • Multifamily: Investment volume is up 36% on the 5-year quarterly average. The multifamily sector will be challenged this fall if the federal government decides to let CERB payments expire, however the return of immigration and university activity will provide tailwinds.
  • Retail: Retail investment has rebounded well in 2021, reaching its highest half-year total since 2018. While grocery-anchored retail remains the darling of investors, ghost kitchens represent a promising growth area.
  • Land: Land has accounted for more investment dollars than any sector, with over $8b in total deal volume through the first two quarters. JLL estimates that about 75% of land deals can be attributed to either industrial, residential apartment, or residential condominium projects.


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