April 19, 2011
With more than $500 million in sales last year – second highest in history – Winnipeg’s commercial real estate market is seen as one of the hottest in Canada going into 2011.
A shortage of development lands, major infrastructure investments by government and high demand have driven land prices up 10 per cent in each of the last few years and “is propping up lease rates in every segment of the market” said Wes Schollenberg, a principal with Avison Young in Winnipeg.
“Institutional buyers are hungry for quality properties that produce solid, steady income streams,” noted Doug McDonald, president and CEO of NewWest Group of Companies. “While Winnipeg’s supply may be limited, there’s no shortage of interest from potential buyers.”
Deep-pocket buyers include Artis Real Estate Investment Trust and Timbercreek Asset Management, which each bought prime Winnipeg properties last year.
Spurring activity in Manitoba’ largest city is a $220 million investment by the provincial and federal governments that will include a four-lane expressway through CentrePort, a 20,000-acre trading zone now being developed in the city.