RENX Commercial • Retail • Quebec, Atlantic Canada • January 4, 2019
Fronsac REIT (FRO-UN-X) enters the new year with the same attitude as the trust had during 2018: “We’re in growth mode,” CEO and president Jason Parravano says. Fronsac announced two acquisitions in December, ending the year with 46 Eastern Canadian properties.
RENX Commercial • Retail • Quebec, Greater Montreal, Quebec City • January 4, 2019
Partners REIT (PAR-UN-T) has an agreement to sell its 11 Quebec retail properties, putting it one step closer to possibly wrapping up operations. Pending closure of the sale in Q2 of 2019, Partners would own a dozen Ontario and Manitoba properties.
Property values of Calgary’s downtown office buildings fell by 32 per cent in the past year amid high unemployment and a nearly record vacancy rate largely driven by the downturn in the oil sector. Meanwhile, home values remained largely stable.
Growth in technology jobs is providing a boost to Winnipeg’s office market, says CBRE. The city has added nearly 5,000 tech jobs in the last five years, bringing the total up to nearly 17,000, a growth rate of about 40 per cent.
Commercial • ConstructConnect
The key metric for new commercial tower construction is a city’s office vacancy rate, the lower the better. In turn, what drives office vacancy rates down is greater worker occupancy.
Commercial • Ottawa Citizen
The main combatants LeBreton Flats legal saga have all agreed to mediation to see if their disputes can be settled before Jan. 19, the date the National Capital Commission threatened to end its relationship with RendezVous LeBreton.
Residential, Commercial • Ottawa Business Journal
An Ottawa developer wants to construct an eight-storey building that would include 75 residential units and a mix of office and retail space on the ground floor. Surface Developments is proposing to build the project.
Commercial • CTV
When Canadian shoppers emerge from their post-holiday hibernation, they’ll find a number of retailers have disappeared. All 38 Town Shoes footwear stores will close in January. By the end of February, Jean Machine’s 24 stores will have vanished.
Commercial • Toronto Star
Canadian grocers doubled down on transforming themselves into destinations for time-strapped shoppers in 2018, ramping up delivery options, acquiring meal kit companies and adding in-store eateries. Experts say it’s only the beginning of a transformation.
Hudson’s Bay Co.’s stock (HBC-T) is up about 12 per cent after an entity controlled by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker announced it picked up another eight per cent stake from a subsidiary of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
Trustee, president & CEO Armin Martens, with 155,000, was among Artis REIT (AX.UN-T) executives who have purchased trust units on the open market. Ron Joyce acquired 900,000 to increase his stake in the REIT to 17,750,000 owned or controlled.
Commercial • Canada Newswire
American Hotel Income Properties REIT (HOT-UN-T) disclosed CEO John O’Neill purchased 150,000 units in December, through open market purchases. Since joining AHIP as CEO on Oct. 1, 2018, O’Neill has also acquired 9,712 units.
Toronto and Vancouver saw their worst year for sales in at least a decade as higher borrowing costs and stricter mortgage rules hit home. Sales in the GTA fell 16 per cent in 2018 while the average price fell 4.3 per cent.
Residential • Newinhomes.com
2018 wasn’t an easy time for renters, especially those vying for affordable units in Toronto and Vancouver, which have among the lowest vacancies in the world at 1.1 and 1 per cent, respectively. It’s anticipated the supply/demand imbalance will worsen in 2019.
Residential • Toronto Star
In 2019, Vancouver is set to start a new citywide planning process that could change the look and feel of city neighbourhoods – or protect the status quo. And both city councillors and residents are set to resume a debate over whether single-family zoning needs to be rethought.
Infill developers in Winnipeg are expected to face new restrictions on how much of a lot a new home can cover as part of proposed guidelines for housing in older neighbourhoods.
Residential • CNBC
Manhattan real estate suffered its worst year since the housing crash of 2009, as tax changes, stock-market turmoil and jittery foreign buyers hurt sales in 2018. Home sales in Manhattan fell 14 per cent last year, the industry’s steepest drop since 2009.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has joined Washington state’s regulator in denying the proposed $4.4 billion takeover of Avista Corp. (AVA-N) by Ontario-based Hydro One (H-T). The Idaho commission raised concerns the Ontario government might meddle in Avista’s operations.
Residential • Financial Post
Robert J. Shiller, a Nobel Laureate and professor of economics at Yale University, appears deeply concerned about the U.S. housing market. In a recent op-ed, Professor Shiller warned the U.S. was experiencing one of the greatest housing booms in its history.