Commerical office tenants want green

Commerical office tenants want green

GE Capital Real Estate survey shows value of sustainability initiatives

Green building initiatives are a key influencer when tenants decide to sign a commercial real estate lease, according to an international survey by GE Capital Real Estate. The survey, conducted over the past year, included more than 2,220 tenants at offices in the UK, U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Japan. An average of 50% of those polled said green building initiatives are a high priority.


Japan (59%), Canada (52%) and Sweden (52%) placed the greatest importance on green building practices, compared with only 43% in the U.S., the lowest of the countries surveyed.


The survey also covered energy certifications. In the survey, only 40% of U.S. tenants rated energy certifications “valuable”. However, in Sweden (51%), the UK (46%) and Spain (46%) tenants see energy certifications like LEED and BREEAM as valuable factors in their building choice. 


Energy efficiency, the survey said, remains the No. 1 priority for tenants in most countries, followed by waste reduction programs. In some markets, indoor air quality is also extremely important.


“We’ve seen distinct and increasing interest in sustainability across our global tenant base,” said Michael Rowan, president, Global Asset Management at GE Capital Real Estate.




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Posted by Julie Tucker



Toronto Real Estate | Real Estate Roundup December 10th, 2010

Real Estate Roundup December 10th, 2010

Canadian Housing Landing Safely

According to a TD Economics report released this week Canada’s housing market landed safely avoiding both a bubble and a crash.

We now forecast the annual average price for 2011 to remain essentially unchanged, slipping by less than 1%.  TD Economics

Canadian Housing Landing Safely (TD Economics – pdf)

How Canada avoided housing ‘bubble and crash’ (Globe and Mail)


New Housing Starts and Prices Increase

According to a CMHC report, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts for November was 187,200 units, up from 167,800 units in October.

“Housing starts moved higher in November primarily due to a strong increase in urban multiple starts in Ontario,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC

The New Housing Price Index published by Statistics Canada rose 0.1% in October, driven primarily by increases in Toronto, Oshawa and Vancouver.

November Housing Starts (CMHC)

New Housing Price Index (Statistics Canada)

Home building jumps more than expected (Financial Post)

Canada’s October New-Home Prices Increase 0.1% on Month, Led by Toronto (Bloomberg)


Toronto Rental Vacancy Rates Drop to 2%

According to CMHC’s Rental Market Report, vacancies for purpose built apartment buildings dropped to 2.1% in October 2010, down from 3.1% in October 2009.  The key factors driving the decline in vacancies include a rebound in employment, a high level of immigration and the rising cost of renting units in the condominium market.

Just this week I heard from Inside Toronto Real Estate that MPP Cheri DiNovo is introducing a private members bill that will prohibit landlords from increasing rents by more than the Ontario government guidelines under any cirumstance (including if an old tenant vacates a property and a new one arrives or if the landlord has performed significant upgrades).  

Another factor contributing to the decline in vacancy rates is that there are very few new purpose-built apartment buildings being built which is limiting the supply of new apartment units coming on the market. I suspect that the tighter rent controls proposed by MPP DiNovo  will provide even less incentive for investors to build new apartment buildings.

Rental Market Report (CMHC – pdf)

Far fewer apartments for rent in GTA (Toronto Star)


Other Real Estate News

Condo sales to stay at high levels (Toronto Sun)

CREA developing new measure of real estate’s health (CTV)

2011 housing prices to climb while sales stall (CTV)

GTA housing market to stay hot in 2011 (Toronto Star)

TREB: Misconceptions about the HST (Toronto Star)

Home buying technology: Look before you buy (Globe and Mail)


“Housing more affordable into 2011, says RBC Report” | Toronto Real Estate Trends

 It is becoming more affordable to own a home, according to the Royal Bank of Canada, but the high cost of ownership will continue to keep the market steady and contain price increases.  In its quarterly housing affordability report, RBC said home ownership cost decreased over the summer for the first time in more than a year. This is attributed to low mortgage rates.

But homes were still more expensive than long-term averages in many markets, suggesting “greater than usual tensions exist for Canadian homebuyers.”  “These tensions are unlikely to derail demand for housing in the near term but will act as a restraint on growth in market activity going forward,” said RBC senior economist Robert Hogue.  This is the first time affordability has improved since mid-2009.  The following are provincial highlights from the report:

  • British Columbia: In the third quarter of 2010, affordability in B.C. dropped between 1.8 and five per cent, representing the largest decline since the first quarter of 2009. But the measures remain above long-term averages and poor affordability will weigh down on provincial housing demand in the time ahead.
  • Alberta: Homeownership in Alberta is among the most affordable in Canada both in absolute terms and relative to its historical averages.
  • Saskatchewan: Current market conditions are stretching homebuyers’ budgets. However, those budgets are likely to be boosted from a strong expected rebound in the provincial economy and thus family income this year and next.
  • Manitoba: Lower mortgage rates in the third quarter were particularly helpful in bringing down homeownership costs in the province although some price declines also contributed. Manitoba is one of only two provinces, alongside Alberta, where the measures for all housing types are currently below long-term averages, which will be a supportive factor for demand going forward.
  • Ontario: Existing home sales ended their earlier slide by sustaining three straight gains from August to October. With the market now back in balance, the recent softness in home prices will likely prove to be healthy for 2011.
  • Quebec: Following four consecutive increases, province affordability fell 1.4 to 1.8 per cent. Still, the measures remain close to the pre-downturn peaks and above their long-term average, which will restrain upcoming demand growth.
  • Atlantic: Affordability levels returned to roughly where they were in mid- to late 2009. Overall, housing continues to be quite attractive in Atlantic Canada.