By Erika Siegert, Senior Analyst, National Research Insights | 11 Décembre 2020

With the completion of the third quarter, national investments continue to see a decrease in activity compared to last year. The second wave of pandemic restrictions have led to stagnant decision-making with gaps between buyer and seller expectations. The industrial sector has maintained its strong position across major markets throughout the first three quartersas investors lean into development opportunities to meet rising demand for storage and distribution space amid low availability ratesThis trend is expected to last with heightened interest in newer facilities that offer technology-driven capabilities to support further e-commerce growth and consumer reliance on efficient order fulfillment and delivery.

Year-to-date totals also reflect steady activity in the multifamily sector due in part to pent-up demand lingering from the market pause this past spring. In the office market, vacancies are still on the rise, but landlords and tenants are now re-assessing space needs and developing flexible return-to-work plans for the year aheadAlthough government assistance programs for rent relief remain in effect, the retail sector continued to struggle in the third quarter, especially with new restrictions in some central areas. As many speculate about the fate of retail tenants, some see an opportunity to pivot towards more mixed-use space and capitalize on the expansion of existing assets with growth potential. Moving into the fourth quarter, investors eagerly await the news of vaccine and its ultimate impact on the economy. 

National property transactions Q3 2020 - all sectors by year

National investment volume in the first three quarters of 2020 dropped by 22% compared to the same time last year, with 5,106 transactions totalling $22.8 billion in volumeThe industrial sector continued its strong momentum, with 994 transactions making up nearly a quarter of year-to-date transaction totals at $6.5 billion, a drop of only 1% compared to year-to-date volumes last year. Multi-family transactions have also remained strong over the first three quarters this year, making up nearly 19% of year-to-date volume with 930 transaction totalling $5.4 billion, down only 6% from the previous year. The residential land sector made up a significant portion of transactions throughout the first three quarters this year, with 820 transactions totalling $5.5 billion, despite dropping 19% compared to year-to-date volume last year. Unsurprisingly, the office and retail sectors have seen decreasing activity year over year, with volume over the first three quarters dropping 53% and 22% respectively. Similar to the first half of this year, Edmonton continues to be the only major market that has not sustained a drop in year-to-date transaction volumes, with a jump of 9% compared to 2019. 

National overall capitaliztion rate trends Q3 2020

According to Altus Group’s Investment Trends Survey Q3 2020 resultsnational capitalization rates have remained stable compared to the previous quarter, but jumped yearoveryear, up from 5.01% in Q3 2019 to 5.14% in Q3 2020Cap rates have increased across all Canadian markets compared to last year. Most markets did not see any major fluctuations in cap rates compared to Q2 2020, with the exception of Edmonton and Calgary both experiencing a drop. Downtown Class “AA” Office rates rose from 5.53% in Q2 2020 to 5.58% this quarter, jumping from 5.36% at the same time last year. Similarly, the national Tier I Regional Mall rate saw little change from the previous quarter but jumped from 4.84% in Q3 2019 to 5.29% in Q3 2020. Single-tenant industrial rates dropped and there was no change in suburban multiple-unit residential rates since last year. Food-anchored retail is now the top preferred product type among investors, followed by single- and multi-tenant industrial assets that have performed consistently well this year. The location barometer highlights Calgary, Montreal and Halifax all gaining momentum this quarter, with Toronto and Montreal still the top-preferred markets by investors.  

National property transactions by asset class Q3 YTD 2019 vs Q3 YTD 2020

While momentum over the first three quarters this year has remained relatively flat, strong performance in select asset classes points to signs of recovery as we move into the final quarter. Where industrial assets are expected to continue recording strong results, office and retail will still face challenges moving forward. With restrictions prompting the ongoing evolution of trends in remote work and consumer behavior, investors, landlords and tenants have and will continue to shift strategies to find flexible solutions. As the end of the year approaches and the commercial real estate industry works through pandemic challenges, many are optimistic that investment activity will grow i2021. 

Click the links below to view notable Q3 2020 transactions in each of the major markets:





Data Solutions connects the Canadian real estate industry through the delivery of data with unparalleled breadth, integrity and relevance.  We cover new homes, investment transactions and commercial market inventory in key markets, and also provide intelligence on the national housing market and consumer home buying and borrowing patterns.

Our solutions are used by real estate industry stakeholders to gain market intelligence, identify and validate opportunities, benchmark, strategically plan, manage risk and more.

Data Solutions is part of Altus Analytics, the software and data solutions business of Altus Group, where our focus is to empower real estate clients and partners to work collaboratively to enhance decision making, drive performance and optimize transactional efficiency. Our solutions enable firms to better organize and manage data and connect with the right information and analytics to help them gain a complete picture of real estate assets, portfolios and transactions.

For more information on Data Solutions, please visit


Altus Group Limited is a leading provider of independent advisory services, software and data solutions to the global commercial real estate industry. Our businesses, Altus Analytics and Altus Expert Services, reflect decades of experience, a range of expertise, and technology-enabled capabilities. Our solutions empower clients to analyze, gain insight and recognize value on their real estate investments. Headquartered in Canada, we have approximately 2,500 employees around the world, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our clients include some of the world’s largest real estate industry participants across a variety of sectors.  Altus Group pays a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share and our shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol AIF.

For more information on Altus Group, please visit:


Elizabeth Lambe
Manager, Communications
Altus Group
(416) 641 – 9787


View more insights >

Get in touch

Erika SiegertSiegertresearch-fr-ca

Analyste principale, Perspectives de recherche nationales, Solutions de données
forumDemandez une démonstration

Thank you for contacting us. we will get back to you shortly!

Ce site Web utilise des témoins pour améliorer votre expérience utilisateur. En utilisant notre site Web, vous acceptez que nous ayons recours à des témoins.
cliquer ici pour plus de détails


Désolé, cette page n'est pas disponible en français