For this week’s “Ginsler Lunch Series”, I had a real estate focused panel with some of the country’s leading real estate experts.
Thanks to the following for joining: Rael Diamond (President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT), Sasha Cucuz (CEO, Greybrook Securities), Jamie Grossman (Managing Principal, Cresa), Evan Cooperman (CEO, Foremost Financial) and Jeff Appleby (Managing Director, Real Estate Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets). We discussed some of the key questions investors have regarding the real estate market.
Some of this week’s key questions and takeaways:
What is the future of retail?
Retail is not dead. People need a place to go, with much of Retail “necessity based”. Also, Retail is evolving to be more experiential, which will be critical to keep people visiting.
Is anyone ever going back to the office?
Yes, In fact, many are starting to go back to the office now and those at home may start to feel left out of “in person” meetings and office interactions. In time, offices will be full again and overall, the office environment may be the best place for instilling culture, training and collaboration.
Where do people want to live now?
There has not yet been a mad dash out of the Big Cities and we don’t believe that will occur. Student housing occupancy is currently challenged with uncertainty surrounding the start of the school year. Rent collections remain strong but as COVID continues, some cracks in rent payments are beginning to appear.
Which real estate sectors are “hottest” now?
Industrial is attracting the most demand and highest pricing right now. People need stuff and businesses need warehouses to manufacture, store, sort and ship.
In summary, expect people’s behaviour to revert to “normal” as COVID passes, albeit there is concern about weakening consumer strength the longer COVID persists.