MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — The recently released Morguard Corporation 2022 Canadian Economic Outlook and Market Fundamentals Report forecasts recovery and growth for Canada’s commercial real estate sector in 2022 and increased investor activity following the anticipated post-pandemic full economic reopening.
The 24th annual edition of the report provides a detailed analysis of the 2021 Canadian real estate market as well as trends to watch for in 2022. It found investment performance remained strong in 2021 for industrial and multi-suite residential rental properties, indicates a release, adding office and retail showed signs of stabilization due to efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent easing of some restrictions.
The also report also found:
- Decreased levels of immigration and post-secondary students entering the country throughout 2021 contributed to reduced demand in the multi-suite residential segment. The national vacancy rate rose 1.0 per cent year-over-year in October 2021 to a four-year high of 3.2 per cent, with more pronounced vacancy in the country’s larger metropolitan areas.
- Despite the overall softening, investment demand surpassed supply as the segment’s sustained strength retained investors’ interest.
- With the reopening of Canada’s borders and continued job growth, rental demand is forecast to gradually grow in 2022.
- Investment activity in the office segment in 2021 was relatively muted given the uncertainty of when pandemic restrictions would lift.
- A total of $1.9 billion in office property sales was reported in the first half of 2021, down 37 per cent year-over-year from $3 billion reported in the same period in 2020.
- Industrial assets had record-low inventory levels across Canada in 2021. The national industrial availability rate reported a low of 2.3 per cent at the end of the first half of 2021 with even lower rates in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
- Warehouses, logistics and e-commerce businesses continued expanding at a relatively rapid rate, continuing the trend seen since mid-2020.
- As leasing demand continues to outpace supply, tenants may have difficulty finding available industrial space in 2022 despite an anticipated pickup in construction activity.
- Continued restrictions for in-person shopping contributed to the retail segment’s reduced activity in 2021.
- Retail sector performance patterns will improve in 2022, with the loosening of pandemic restrictions and the return of shoppers to retail centres.
- Canada’s economy is expected to continue to bounce back from the pandemic-driven correction in 2022, with output rising between 4.0 per cent and 5.0 per cent on an annualized basis.
- The services sector will be a key driver of growth in the coming year, following proportionately stronger expansion in the goods production sector in the earlier stages of the pandemic.
- In 2022, Canada’s labour market will strengthen, driven by the largely positive economic growth trend.
- Retail consumption and housing market activity will support economic growth in 2022, in support of largely positive commercial real estate sector performance trends.
The full report is available at morguard.com/research.