When talk turns to real estate and investing, thoughts too often turn towards residential properties. But recently, Neil Warshafsky, Broker of Record with RCA Toronto Inc., sat down with Real Estate Wealth magazine to shed light on the boundless opportunities that currently lie in commercial estate investing. This sector of real estate, says Warshafsky, is yielding far better returns than what’s currently available in the residential market; and it’s a market that’s open to anyone.

“The Ontario commercial real estate market has enjoyed a protracted period of positive sustained growth,” explains Mr. Warshafsky. “This has been fueled primarily through a combination of low interest rates, higher rents, greater occupancies, low unemployment and a host of other positive factors.”

Mr. Warshafsky points to the fact that investors are starting to lose their appetite for other types of investments, mainly bonds and equities, as one of the reasons for the upswing in the number of available commercial real estate properties.

“Demand has spurred as a result of many influences such as higher immigration, the consolidation of real estate ownership into fewer hands through syndication, securitization, and other forms of corporate ownership, and concerns over alternative investments such as bonds and equities.

Accordingly, with fewer properties trading coupled with greater demand, property values should continue to escalate. We are still on the up-slope of the current commercial real estate cycle. A generous supply of fresh capital into the market mixed with a growing economy has served to foster an ideal time for investors to step into the commercial real estate market.”

Mr. Warshafsky also says that the growing number of commercial real estate properties that available are another reason for the upswing in these properties. No longer do commercial properties only include industrial warehouses or office buildings.

“There are many types of commercial properties available to invest in. They include office, industrial, retail and multi-family buildings as the industry cornerstones. Also included would be hotels, nursing and retirement homes, and other special purpose properties.”

And just as varied as the different types of commercial properties are, the investors themselves are becoming more and more varied, too.

“Investor profiles would include a diverse range of individual investors, insurance and other investment companies, trusts and other institutional ownership structures,” says Mr. Warshafsky. “The type of real estate investment and investor may be determined by the equity retirement, location, risk tolerance and a myriad of other factors.”

With so many opportunities, open to so many, it’s clear that for now anyway, commercial investments may be the way to go in Ontario.

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