Real Estate

Opinion: A crisis in commercial real estate, a crisis in housing: two problems, one solution

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Empty office space at 520 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan on Aug. 22.HARUKA SAKAGUCHI/The New York Times News Service

David Clement is the North American affairs manager with the Consumer Choice Center.

While for many Canadians the pandemic is behind us, one of its enduring effects is the lack of demand for commercial office space. During the pandemic, many people reasonably thought that as life returned to normal, so would the need to be back in the office full-time. This never panned out, and the office vacancy rate in almost every major Canadian city is a perfect indicator of that. In the second quarter of this year, arguably the most the pandemic has ever been behind us, the office vacancy rate in Canada actually increased to 18.1 per cent.

This new reality is horrific for the firms that own office towers. It means they’re left

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