Commercial real estate may be cooling in other parts of the country, but it’s taking off in Calgary – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down! A recent report from RealNet Canada shows that the commercial sector in this city has increased by 81 per cent in 2012 when compared with the year before. RealNet stated that 445 transactions alone equaled over $1 million each, accounting for $4.84 million made out of those fewer than 500 transactions alone! And the rest of the city isn’t doing so poorly either.

As you can see from the chart above, there were several areas of commercial real estate that did particularly well in Calgary. The retail space grew by 61 per cent, just in that year alone. The industrial sector also saw gains, with a 36 per cent increase in properties and a whopping 108 per cent increase in industrial land.

The only sector not shown on the chart (only because it exceeded the millions-limit) to show increases in their commercial mortgages was the office market, which shot up by 349 per cent. Also not shown on the chart is the only sector that saw a decline – hotels. Even this category though, saw a very small decrease at just one per cent to $83.7 million.

“The strength of the recovery in the Calgary commercial real estate market accelerated greatly in 2012,” said Paul Richter, the director of research for RealNet Canada. “After lagging behind the recovery strength of other Canadian markets, Calgary has now also reached near-high levels of investment.”

So what’s the reason, other than the fact that Calgary real estate has always been the one exception in Canadian real estate over the past several months? CBRE believes it has everything to do with a lack of space combined with strong demand, and the area’s richness in natural resources.

“The Calgary market has had an extremely active year in terms of both leasing and investment activity. Demand from a dynamic oil industry and a lack of quality space have spurred new construction which could satisfy the strong demand for space. As global demand for natural resources continues to increase, Calgary is expected to be further transformed into an international market.”

The good times are definitely on in Calgary, and now is definitely the time for both business owners and investors to get in on them!


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