New magazine showcases commercial real estate

The Winnipeg Real Estate News has just produced the WinnipegREALTORS® Association’s first stand-alone publication dedicated to Winnipeg’s commercial real estate market. 

For the February launch, 19,000 copies of the glossy, full-colour Commercial Real Estate magazine were mailed out to business locations across the city. 

The new magazine will be published three times a year.

Commercial Division chair Ken Jones said the new magazine provides an opportunity to showcase many of the prominent listings from commercial members.

“I believe that’s one of the key points behind this publication,” he added, “the fact that there is a distinct Commercial Division within the WinnipegREALTORS® Association — a unique division made up of experienced and industry-specific educated REALTORS®, specializing in dealing with the  world of commercial real estate rather than residential real estate.”

According to Jones, the launch of the new magazine comes at a time when the city’s commercial marketplace — divided into four major disciplines: industrial, office, retail and investment — has reached a critical mass and is beginning to attract significant interest from numerous sectors, especially the investment market.

Investors are looking east from British Columbia and Alberta; provinces which have in recent years been the investment leaders. The reality is that the resource boom in the two western-most provinces has had  a negative effect on the commercial real estate sector. The boom in Alberta and B.C. has driven prices skyward, taking commercial real estate beyond the reach of many investors.

Jones said a local price increase in commercial properties has occurred, but it is significantly less severe than the increase in cities such as Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. 

Jones said institutional investors such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), pension funds and major private equity groups are now focusing their attention on the so-called secondary markets such as Winnipeg.

“Large, sophisticated investors are bringing their bulging bank accounts to our city to try to maximize their return on real estate investments,” he added.

Jones said a number of significant properties have changed hands in Winnipeg over the last few years and it is likely this trend will continue.

“We are also noticing that properties sold a few years ago are coming back on the market — capitalizing on the current pricing structures to realize significant gains for vendors.

“The biggest challenge facing the brokerage community is to find enough properties to sell, because there’s definitely no shortage of buyers,” Jones added.

The next edition of the Commercial Real Estate magazine is May 11.