Commercial real estate market's struggles continue: Colliers

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The Ottawa commercial real estate market continues to struggle in 2014, according to the latest numbers from Colliers International, and no turnaround is expected until at least next year.

In its third quarter report, released Thursday, Colliers says the number of transactions year-to-date is down in all asset classes.

The industrial class is down 10 transactions, or 32 per cent from this time last year, the retail class has fallen by 13 transactions, or 43 per cent, and the office class is down six transactions, or 24 per cent.

The only moderately bright spot is the multi-family class, where the number of transactions was down by just six, or 16 per cent, but the value of those transactions was up 25 per cent.

The value of industrial transactions was down 33 per cent, while retail transaction values showed a drop of 70 per cent and office transaction values declined 22 per cent. Colliers says the significant drop in the retail class was due to one significant transaction from 2013.

Overall, that translates to a 28 per cent decline in number of transactions and a 27 per cent drop in the total value of transactions.

The report says there is still demand for assets in Ottawa, but many vendors will only sell if they can “achieve aggressive returns.”

Colliers predicts the slowdown will continue throughout the rest of this year, adding many investors are waiting for the results of the 2015 federal election before they decide their next moves.

Colliers says a change in leadership will almost certainly mean an expanded public service but adds it remains to be seen whether Canadians will vote for such change.