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Annual Overview on the Commercial Real Estate Investment Market | 2023


Over the past 12 months, the real estate market has experienced several fluctuations. While the industrial real estate market has shown resilience, the retail category has exhibited signs of contraction, while the office market is displaying a gradual recovery.

INDUSTRIAL 

In November 2023, the market recorded 774 transactions compared to a cumulative 1047 transactions in November 2022. The quarterly variation indicates a 2% decrease, with an annual variation of -33%, revealing a decline following sustained enthusiasm since the pandemic period.

Regarding the investment volume, it currently stands at $3.16 billion for the last 12 months. In comparison, it was $4.29 billion in November 2022, representing a 36% decrease. However, despite a significant drop, the quarterly variation in volume is up by 2%. It is important to note that the market demonstrated some resilience starting from March 2023, with a transactional volume fluctuating between $3.10 billion and $3.16 billion.

As for the appreciation of industrial properties, the price per square foot increased from $135/sq.ft to $162/sq.ft. The annual variation thus reveals a 17% increase for all heavy, light, and storage industrial buildings.

RETAIL 

The cumulative number of transactions for November 2023 amounted to 477, compared to 681 in November 2022. This results in a quarterly variation of -23% and an annual variation of -37%. This decline suggests significant changes in the market dynamics during this period.

The investment volume follows the same trend, decreasing from $1.92 billion in November 2022 to $1.45 billion in November 2023. The decrease in the number of transactions, coupled with a decline in the transactional volume in the market, could be interpreted as a sign of contraction, potentially prompting investors to readjust their short and medium-term strategies and objectives.

As for market appreciation, it shows a similar trend to velocity. Property values per square foot dropped from $181 in November 2022 to $171 in November 2023, representing an annual decrease of 6%.

OFFICES 

The number of transactions gained momentum, reaching a peak of 744 in November 2023 compared to 273 transactions in November 2022. This 63% increase reflects a dynamic real estate market.

The cumulative investment volume has shown growth over the past 12 months. In November 2022, the cumulative transactional volume was $1.13 billion, decreasing to $0.75 billion in March 2023. Subsequently, the market experienced a resurgence in activity, as the transactional volume caught up to amount to $1.35 billion in November 2023. This results in an annualized increase of 16.3%. The quarterly variation indicates a 29% increase. As for the price per square foot, it remained at $203/sq.ft, representing a 5% increase.

CONCLUSION

To summarize the assessment for the period from December 2022 to November 2023, the commercial real estate market in Quebec presents contrasting trends. The industrial sector records a decrease in transactions and investment volume, although the fourth quarter experienced a resurgence in activities. The retail sector exhibited a marked contraction. On the contrary, the office sector is undergoing significant transactional growth, revealing an asset class in full redefinition and recovery after several years of being on the backburner.


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