Calgary, the third largest city in Canada. has seen one of the fastest recoveries of downtown foot traffic to pre-pandemic levels in North America.
As things settle into the current new normal, a recent study by commercial real estate firm Avison Young this spring found weekday foot traffic in downtown Calgary was at 49 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. And according to Statistics Canada also reported Calgary had one of the fastest growing downtown populations in the country, adding 8,100 people in the last five years.
Downtown office vacancy rate to stabilize
The downtown office market is nearing an inflection point with the vacancy rate expected to hold
near current levels in 2022. Leasing activity will continue to slowly build, bolstered in part by
Calgary’s burgeoning tech sector and the return of occupiers into the core, both net new tenants and those relocating from the suburbs. Market momentum is expected to continue trending positive, though overall gains will remain muted over the near term.
A growing industrial hub for western Canada
Calgary is established as a major industrial hub as its central location in Western Canada makes it ideal for the cost-efficient distribution of goods throughout the region. Industrial demand in Calgary will continue to grow further as the abundance of land and lower costs relative to other major industrial markets attracts more occupiers. In addition, the global push towards environmental sustainability will foster continued growth of the green and cleantech industries in Calgary.
Data centres to see significant investment growth
The data centre market is getting a boost in capital investment following Amazon Web Services’
announcement to spend $4.3 billion to establish a new hub in Calgary. Building on the city’s
momentum as a growing destination for tech in Canada, this investment will lead to the creation of additional high-skilled jobs in the city.
Energy sector poised for activity as oil prices rise
Oil and gas companies in Calgary are expected to be active players in 2022 as they take advantage of the rebound in oil prices. With the resumption of global demand as well as rising geopolitical tensions, oil prices have risen to their highest levels since 2014. As a result, oil and gas companies have benefitted from an influx of cash that is ready to be deployed towards expansion, mergers and capital expenditures in 2022.
The Canadian commercial real estate industry has undeniably emerged from the pandemic remarkably well. Demand and activity are building in cities across the country and capital continues to flow into the sector. Notwithstanding any new risks that may emerge, the main detractors to economic growth in 2021, including inflation, labour shortages and restrictive lockdowns, will ease. The outlook for real estate in 2022 is positive and expectations remain high for a year of healthy returns.
At ReDev, we believe in the power of collective intelligence, bringing multiple perspectives and depth of expertise to the sector. We are proud of our entrepreneurial culture that fosters investment innovation, collaboration and teamwork. We take great pride in the skill and professionalism of our people where integrity is at the heart of our organization.