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Value: Weighed and Measured
John Clark AACI | Vice President, The Regional Group of Companies Inc.

Can this many transit-oriented developers be wrong?

John Clark Residential Development National Jul. 31 2020
Land values continue to rise. Real estate continues to sell. Developers continue to commit millions toward new developments where the emphasis is on intensification. That’s not the case everywhere, of course. It never is. Still, as I watch the situation

9 lessons from the pandemic; or, the more things change…

John Clark Commercial Ecommerce National Jul. 22 2020
I spend a lot of time at home with a favourite coffee mug these days. It’s easy to get attached to little things, like a favourite mug. But, when it slips off the counter and smashes on the floor, there’s

Adaptability, survivability and the persistence of human nature

John Clark Commercial Market Trends National Jul. 6 2020
We’re in a hurry-up-to-wait sort of situation right now from a commercial real estate perspective. Employers and landlords are preparing for a return to the office . . . with no firm plans to abandon remote working just yet. The

CRE is a long-term investment, now more than ever

John Clark Commercial Market Trends National Jun. 15 2020
From a business standpoint, the pandemic is having a very real and often brutal impact. Let’s not diminish the reality of this. Businesses are hurting, especially small/Main Street businesses. We are constantly seeing news stories about tenants versus landlords, both

Our workplaces will change, because they already were

John Clark Residential Market Trends National May. 28 2020
“Working from home is fine now because everyone is doing it. We’ve all been forced into it. You’re not missing any important meetings or gossip around the water cooler or happy hours — because everyone is missing them.” So David

Change yes, but real estate doesn’t face a catastrophe

John Clark Residential Shopping Centres National May. 13 2020
What will be the new normal in real estate with a viable virus vaccine still without a delivery date? Many impacts may herald change in how we operate and behave versus outright calamity. Take the residential housing market and my

History lessons: Why pandemic impacts are so hard to predict

John Clark Commercial Pandemic National Apr. 27 2020
Economists are already contemplating the near- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 – as they should. We do need some sense of where we are headed. However, if history tells us anything, it’s that human behaviour and geo-politics introduce a degree

COVID-19, Band-Aid fixes and overhauling assessment in Ontario

John Clark Residential Taxes Ontario Apr. 14 2020
A reader wrote in recently for my thoughts on whether a revival of Ontario’s vanishing Vacancy Rebate Program would be a prudent measure to help landlords broadsided by COVID-19. It’s a fair question. Small to mid-sized businesses that are not

COVID-19 isn’t an opportunity, but it’s one heck of a motivator

John Clark Commercial Market Trends National Mar. 25 2020
How does a business, or a doctor’s office or a retail operation that people depend on for their daily necessities, cope with the current COVID-19 situation? Those that are absolutely essential must continue to operate. The Province of Ontario has

Condo owners face potential insurance double whammy

John Clark Residential Legal National Mar. 2 2020
Consider this scenario as a condo owner: Your bathtub overflows and causes water damage to the units below you. The damage is in the tens of thousands of dollars, but less than the deductible contained in the strata/condo insurance your condo corporation

Affordable housing: The real challenge is long-term maintenance

John Clark Residential Affordable Housing National Feb. 14 2020
Back in October, I posed a contrary view to a report from the International Monetary Fund that contended the way to provide more affordable housing in Canada is to simply build more homes. I argued the impact of supply and demand on the

Building permit approvals: Don’t leave the fox to run the hen house

John Clark Residential Government Ontario Jan. 29 2020
Financial pressures, competitive pressures, fear of losing one’s job, even ego, can sometimes drive even respectable people to do less-than-upright things. That’s why in government and business, we have systems of checks and balances (as flawed and inadequate as they

‘Eyesore’ properties: What can, and should, a municipality do?

John Clark Commercial Redevelopment National Jan. 9 2020
There are always property owners who continue to incur the costs of owning a property that is unused and unproductive. But why? It is, after all, the very definition of a money pit. It could be a result of an

How do we protect from foreign buyers without causing economic harm?

John Clark Commercial Government National Dec. 16 2019
Vancouver’s real estate problems appear chronic. B.C. Premier John Horgan has launched a public inquiry to determine to what extent money laundering has contributed to surging real estate costs in the province in general and the Vancouver market in particular.

Watch out: Commercial real estate key source for transit funding

John Clark Commercial Taxes National Nov. 14 2019
All of these statements are true: * Canada’s larger cities continue to grow; * This is driving the need for more grade-separated transit to accommodate that growth and manage chronic traffic congestion; * Money doesn’t grow on trees (unless avocados

The affordable housing riddle: Cost to build only a third of the story

John Clark Residential Affordable Housing National Oct. 31 2019
A few weeks back, a report from the International Monetary Fund asserted that the answer to providing more affordable housing to those who need it in Canada is to build more homes. If only it were that simple. The price

Rising condo costs signal multires revival, and the issues it brings

John Clark Residential Market Trends National Oct. 15 2019
Royal LePage released a market survey recently that tracked how condo costs are surging faster than those for detached homes in major markets across the country. This raises interesting questions about where supply and demand for any form of multiresidential

‘Retail apocalypse’ is the same old story, with new actors

John Clark Commercial Market Trends National Oct. 2 2019
I saw one of those periodic headlines in the news again the other day, For local retailers, it’s adapt or perish, with the sub-head, Personalized service, unique products key to surviving online juggernaut. The CBC story went on to talk

Keeping development on pace, to avoid an economic beating

John Clark Commercial Development Ottawa Sep. 19 2019
I was about 10 years old when the former buildings on LeBreton Flats in Ottawa were expropriated and demolished. More than five decades later, we haven’t much to show for it other than one museum, a couple of unexciting condos

Change is constant: The trick is to find the opportunities…

John Clark Commercial Market Trends National Sep. 3 2019
It made for a catchy headline during a slow summer news cycle a few weeks back, how “dark web detective, cannabis sommelier and therapist hairdresser” could be jobs of the (near) future. The world is changing, but how will this

Boomers will continue to define housing market for decades

John Clark Residential Seniors Housing National Aug. 6 2019
More people than ever before are working past 65. Gen Xers are complaining of being sandwiched between them and the millennials, which has stalled their career advancement. Boomers generally have more disposable income than their predecessors, along with longer average

Ottawa’s Château Laurier debate: Modern design vs. cultural identity

John Clark Commercial Redevelopment Ottawa Jul. 24 2019
In 1984, the Prince of Wales famously stunned his audience at a swank affair to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects when he denounced modern architecture . . . and architects. His attack described modern

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