According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 Report issued this past December, one significant trend we should expect to see in Canada’s real estate markets include increased mixed-use development in the cores of downtown city areas.
Two-thousand-and-fourteen (2014) saw a steady influx of people moving into cities across Canada in efforts to have easier access to work and play. Realizing this flow, businesses in various industries decided to follow. With all this activity, the demand for commercial and residential real estate in city cores has steadily increased.
Real estate developers and REITS see the demands and are responding. Fuelled by an increase in investment funding from both domestic and foreign investors, developers such as Bentall Kennedy LP, Kingsett Capital and Allied Properties REIT are looking into core areas of robust cities across Canada to acquire properties and turn them into mixed-used developments. This creative solution not only meets commercial and residential real estate demands simultaneously, but also increases the value and attractiveness of the properties to existing and potential tenants.
But not every REIT is following the mixed-use development plan. With a focus on credit quality, True North Commercial REIT, for example, has put its focus on acquiring office buildings housing government and other rated tenants with long term leases and has no intention of adding a residential area to those buildings. Its residential component, True North Apartment REIT, will continue to focus on acquiring apartment housing in both Canada and the United States with the strategy of promoting them as affordable housing options.
The real estate developers following the mixed-use development plan will need to design or redesign their properties to appeal to both the residential tenants looking for convenience in every area of the lifestyle they seek, and the commercial tenants trying to attract them.