TORONTO, March 4th, 2015 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that TREB Commercial Network Members reported 553,178 square feet of industrial, commercial/retail and office space leased through the TorontoMLS system in February 2015. This result was up by almost 38 per cent compared to February 2014. Leased industrial space, which accounted for approximately 80 per cent of all leasing activity, was the driver of the year-over-year growth.
The average industrial lease rate, for properties leased on a per square foot net basis with pricing disclosed, was $5.26 – in line with the February 2014 average of $5.29. The average lease rates for commercial/retail and office properties fluctuated to a greater degree compared to last year, but this was largely the result of a different mix of properties leased this year compared to last.
“While one month does not make a trend, it was encouraging to see an uptick in the amount of square footage leased in February compared to the same period last year. The fact that the growth was driven by the industrial sector is particularly notable, given that a good portion of the economy in southern Ontario is focused on the production of goods for export south of the border,” said Mr. Etherington.
The number of industrial, commercial/retail and office properties reported sold through the TorontoMLS system in February 2015, at 37, was down in comparison to 52 sales for the same month in 2014. Average selling prices were up substantially, but this was mainly due to a change in the size and location of properties sold.
“We are facing an uncertain economic outlook in 2015. However, the lower value of the Canadian Dollar relative to the US Dollar coupled with lower borrowing costs could be helpful to businesses operating in the GTA, particularly those that are focused on producing exports. It is possible that a growth in exports could lead to a growth in demand for real estate as producers expand production,” continued Mr. Etherington.