Ottawa real estate investments hit three-year high in 2016

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Despite a sudden drop-off in the second half of the year, a handful of large commercial real estate transactions that closed in early 2016 pushed total investments in Ottawa to $1.49 billion, according to brokerage firm CBRE.

That’s a 24 per cent increase over 2015 and a three-year high, the real estate services firm said in a year-in-review report on Ottawa’s investment market, which CBRE said lagged behind other major Canadian cities.

It was an uncharacteristically light year for both office and industrial transactions, with relatively few properties changing hands.

By contrast, multi-residential properties “were the most sought-after asset class,” with $680 million in closed transactions, or 46 per cent of the overall volume.

Looking ahead, CBRE said there is a “strong case to be made for optimism in Canada and Ottawa/Gatineau” as both international and domestic investors view this country as one of the safest markets in which to place their capital.

Top 2016 transactions

- Minto suburban multi-residential portfolio, sold to CAPREIT Apartments for $180.25 million;

- Ottawa Marriott Hotel, sold to InnVest REIT for $111 million;

- Lord Lansdowne Retirement Residence, sold to Chartwell Retirement Residences for $68.35 million;

- 160 Chapel St. (rental apartment building), sold to Morguard North American Residential REIT for $67 million;

- Duke of Devonshire Retirement Residence, sold to Chartwell Retirement Residences for $63.65 million