Survey shows Canadian commercial real estate markets in far better shape than the U.S.
TORONTO - Overall, Canadian real executives' sentiment on real estate markets has moved up meaningfully over the past quarter, more so than in the U.S. The Canadian Real Estate Sentiment Survey is identical to a survey of real estate executives in the U.S., which allows for a reliable, direct comparison between the two markets. As one respondent put it, "Canada is in far better shape than the U.S. Our banks are in good shape and they're lending. Unemployment is up, but it's not too bad. Overall, the fundamentals here are good."
The Overall Index is measured on a scale of 1-100 and represents an average of the Future Conditions Index and the Current Conditions Index. To register an Index of 100, all respondents would have to answer that they believe conditions are "much better" today than one year ago and will be "much better" one year from now. The Current REALpac/FPL Canadian Real Estate Sentiment Index rose from 50 in July to 68 in October. In the U.S., for the third consecutive quarter, the Real Estate Roundtable Sentiment Survey's Current Index rose from 38 in January 2009, to 41 in April, to 49 in July, to 63 in October.
More respondents are seeing positive real estate market trends and conditions as compared to Q3 '09, but any movement is expected to be slow. According to one executive surveyed, "We will see velocity again by Q3 '10, and a return to normal by 2013".
Real estate asset values are seen as materially down today, but expectations are up and respondents still report stronger pricing than in the U.S. Debt capital availability is seen as much improved since last quarter though it is still far from what was seen in 2007, and respondent perspectives on equity capital availability continue to track above those for debt capital. According to one respondent, "Equity has been tough since last November, now it's available, not in huge amounts, but it's there."
The survey captured the thoughts of 39 leading real estate executives, including CEOs, presidents, board members, and other top executives from a broad set of real estate sectors including owners and asset managers, financial services providers, and building operators and related service providers. Survey respondents represent income producing real estate including office buildings, retail shopping centres, industrial buildings, hotels, multi-family residential (apartment buildings), and seniors residences. This quarterly economic survey serves as a gauge of senior real estate executives' confidence in financial and real estate markets in Canada. The REALpac/FPL Canadian Real Estate Sentiment Survey measures executives' current and future outlook in three areas including overall real estate conditions, real estate asset values, and availability of capital. Three Sentiment Indices comprise the survey including a Current Conditions, Future Conditions and Overall Conditions Index.
Download a copy of the survey report