Newsletter: February 2011

The federal government came to the aid of Ottawa’s commercial real estate market in 2010 with its purchase of the Nortel Campus for $208,000,000 in December. Without this transaction, the total value of commercial real estate transactions over $500,000 would have been only $843,244,839, a decline of 7% from 2009. The main reason for the decline is not due to a lack of interest by buyers, but rather a lack of supply as owners have been reluctant to become vendors in a market that is witnessing ever higher values. Nevertheless, the total number of sales for 2010 was up by 15% to 273 sales (over $500,000) compared to 237 sales in 2009. All sectors had increases in the total number of sales, with the exception of the Industrial and Special market segments. It is also worth noting that the average price per transaction in 2009 was $3,825,128 as compared to only $3,100,165 (if the Nortel campus in excluded). Nevertheless, with the exception of the Office and Multi-Family markets segments the total value of real property transferred decreased from 2009. As noted above, the Office market was buoyed by the Federal Government’s purchase of the former Nortel Campus. Without this sale, office transactions would have been $277,042,415, which is still higher than 2009. The chart below details the sales for each of the asset classes for the past two years.

2009 2010
Property Type # of Sales Value # of Sales Value
Industrial 38 $112,864,626 29 $72,728,483
Multi-Family 52 $160,024,500 54 $171,840,500
Retail 35 $242,752,000 42 $119,370,000
Office 29 $181,350,596 52 $485,042,415
Land 71 $190,713,505 88 $186,842,863
Special 12 $18,850,000 8 $15,420,578
Total 237 $906,555,227 273 $1,051,244,839

The largest transactions that occurred in each of the asset classes in the past year were as follows.

Property Type Address Vendor Purchaser Consideration
Retail 2735 &2745 Iris Street Briq Nominee Inc. 1823175 Ontario Inc. $30,000,000
Industrial 1071, 1091, 1111 Ages Drive Colonnade Development Incorporated AD Property Ltd. $14,000,000
Office 3500 Carling Avenue Ontario Superior Court of Justice- Commercial List Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada $208,000,000
Residential 411 North River Road Les Terrasses Gabrielle Inc. 2253945 Ontario Inc. $32,800,000
Land S/W Corner of Hope Side Road and Richmond Road Nepean Carleton Developments Limited Walton Ontario Land 1 Corporation $14,242,875

Now onto the sales for the last month of 2010. There were a total of 22 sales reported in the month of December with a total value of $284,708,485. Retail building sales accounted for 1.9% of the total, industrial buildings 1.0%, office buildings 91.2%, apartment buildings 1.5%, special buildings 0.9% and vacant land 3.5%.

Sales data has been provided by RealTrack, Inc. For more information visit http://www.realtrack.com or call 1-877-962-9033

SALES

There were three transactions in the RETAIL market with a total value of $5,540,000. The most notable transaction was the sale of 1802 & 1804 St. Laurent Boulevard. The property sold to Itech Consulting Group Inc. from 1763211 Ontario Inc. for $3,200,000 or $561/sf of building area. It is improved with two freestanding restaurants currently leased to Burger King and Tim Horton's. Brent Taylor of Brentcom Realty was the broker with respect to this sale.

There were three INDUSTRIAL building sales during the month of December with a total value of $2,835,000. 103 Westhunt Road was the most noteworthy transaction in this sector. The property sold to 1963 Merivale Road Holdings Inc. from 1633855 Ontario Ltd. for $1,385,000 or $277/sf of building area. It is improved with a one-storey automotive shop that was constructed in 2008 and includes some excess land. Bruce Johnstone of Keller Williams Realty was the listing agent with regards to this transaction.

There were seven OFFICE building sales with a total value of $259,556,000. The sale of the former Nortel Campus was without a doubt the most noteworthy transaction. Now known as Carling Place, the 11 building campus sold to the Federal Government as a result of a vesting order for $208,000,000 or approximately $91/sf. DTZ Barnicke were in charge of marketing the campus.

The next largest sale was a 50% share for 1601 Telesat Court. The interest sold to Pensionfund Realty Ltd. from Telesat Canada for $18,500,000 or $186/sf. It is improved with a three and four-storey Class “A” office complex with adjoining component housing satellite control facility. Nathan Smith of Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa was the broker with respect to this sale.

81 Metcalfe Street sold to 7683375 Canada Inc. and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation from 1197528 Ontario Inc. for $14,500,000 or $254/sf. It is improved with a 12-storey, multi-tenant office building that was constructed in 1983. Nico Zentil and David Lees of Colliers International were the listing agents with regards to this transaction.

150 Montreal Road, 302 Savard Avenue and 301 Kendall Avenue sold to Manor Park Management Inc. from CIPF IV GP Inc for $11,150,000 or $220/sf. It is improved with a three-storey mixed-use building with ground floor retail and medical offices above. Aik Aliferis, Nick Pantieras and Sam Firestone of Primecorp Commerical Realty were the brokers with respect to this transaction.

251 Bank Street was another large transaction in the office market. The property sold to 1760452 Ontario Inc. from Marbel Management Ltd. for $5,830,000 or $152/sf. It is improved with a seven-storey, multi-tenant office building that was constructed in 1958.

There were four sales in the APARTMENT market with a total value of $4,175,000. 1404 Rosenthal Avenue was the largest transaction selling to Rosenthal Avenue Inc. from Bellcourt Management Ltd. for $2,050,000 or $68,333/unit. It is improved with a three and one-half storey residential apartment building.

There was one transaction in the SPECIAL building market. 641 Sladen Avenue was purchased by 2262356 Ontario Inc. from Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique du Centre-Est de l'Ontario for $2,500,000 or $60/sf of building area. It consists of two properties, one which is improved with an older three-storey school and the other a vacant lot utilised for parking.

There were four vacant LAND transactions during the month of November for a total consideration of $10,102,485. Of the four transactions, there were two commercial land sales, one agricultural land sale and one future growth land sale. The most notable transaction was for 131-acres of future growth land on the north and south sides of Perth Street in the Village of Richmond. The properties sold to Richmond Village (South) Ltd. and Richmond Village (North) Ltd. from Private Individuals for $5,500,000 or $42,045/acre.

1070 March Road is another transaction worth mentioning. The 32-acre parcel of agricultural land sold to JG Rivard Ltd. from Private Individuals for $2,426,325 or $75,894/acre. This site is located outside of the urban boundaries in the north end of the former City of Kanata.

NEWS

The local unemployment rate as reported by Statistics Canada for the month of December decreased slightly to 6.7% from 6.8% in the previous month. The provincial rate for December also saw a slight decrease from 8.2% to 8.1%. The national overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6%.

According to CMHC's news release, the number of residential units under construction in December decreased 5.7% this year over last year to 5,173 units. Housing Starts for the month of December have shown a significant decrease of 34%, from 821 units in 2009 to 542 units in 2010. Over the course of 2010 however, housing starts increased 10.9%, from 5,488 units in 2009 to 6,446 units in 2010.