For the entire first half of 2017, Calgary saw a 24 per cent in-crease in the total dollar volume of real estate transactions, pushing it to more than $1 billion, re-ports Barclay Street Real Estate. In the same period, Edmonton transactions were also slightly higher than $1 billion, up 52 per cent from the first half of 2016.“The light at the end of the tunnel is getting stronger,” said David Wallach, president of Barclay Street Real Estate.
The TELUS Sky tower in downtown Calgary is the last skyscraper under construction during the city’s most recent building cycle, but it faces a tough challenge to lease office space in an economy that is recovering slowly.
Calgary has begun to embrace a new way of thinking about its commercial spaces
With nearly a fifth of its space already dark, Calgary’s Beltline area saw office take-up go negative by 115,000 square feet in the second quarter of this year, according to a report from Barclay Street Real Estate.
A report by Barclay Street Real Estate says Calgary’s retail asset class demonstrated less robustness during the first half of 2016, decreasing to $74 million from $137 million at the mid-point of last year.
“I think there’s been a fairly dramatic sense of increased activity in the last nine months or so —increased activity, increased urgency of decision making. I think that maybe has surprised a number of people, including myself,” says Doug Grinde, Edmonton-based vice-president of Barclay Street.
With more investors entering the market since the third quarter of 2016, the first half of 2017 saw a 24 per cent year-over-year increase in total commercial investment dollar volume, according to Barclay Street Real Estate’s Mid-Year 2017 report published today.
“Signs of recovery illuminate Calgary’s commercial real estate investment market. An increase of 24 per cent in total dollar volume pushed Calgary’s real estate acquisitions to more than $1 billion during the first six months of 2017, compared to just over $827 million at the same point in 2016,” says David Wallach, president and broker of Barclay Street Real Estate.
Less office space was needed and the past two years has seen the vacancy rate soar. At its peak, the downtown vacancy rate was a minuscule 0.3 per cent in the second half of 2006. Today, it is 24.7 per cent, according to Barclay Street Real Estate.
The commercial district has seen a slight upswing in activity with 26,000 square feet of vacant retail space taken off the market, cutting the area’s vacancy rate from 11.5 per cent to 10.8 per cent, Barclay Street said in its mid-year report.