Real Estate

Commercial real estate crisis: Downtowns are dead, dying or on life support, says urban policy expert

The hollowing out of U.S. cities’ office and commercial cores is a national trend with serious consequences for millions of Americans. As more people have stayed home following the COVID-19 pandemic, foot traffic has fallen. Major retail chains are closing stores, and even prestigious properties are having a hard time retaining tenants.

The shuttering of a Whole Foods market after only a year in downtown San Francisco in May 2023 received widespread coverage. Even more telling was the high-end department store Nordstrom’s decision to close its flagship store there in August after a 35-year run.

In New York City, office vacancy rates have risen by over 70% since 2019. Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a stretch of high-end shops and restaurants, had a 26% vacancy rate in spring 2023.

A recent study from the University of Toronto found that across North America, downtowns are recovering from the pandemic more slowly than

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Real Estate

Survey suggests urban Canadians remain optimistic about real estate

A new survey suggests that despite high interest rates and an uncertain economy, confidence in real estate as an investment remains high among Canadians who live in large cities.

The new report was conducted by research firm Mustel Group for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and surveyed 2,000 Canadian adults between the ages of 18 and 77 in the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). 

It found a high level of confidence in future real estate performance, with 60 per cent of respondents believing that a home or residential real estate purchase will perform the same or better than their other financial investments over the next 10 years.

While that figure reflects optimism about the market in the long term, the survey also found that almost half of respondents (49 per cent) believe that a home or residential real estate purchase will perform the same or better than

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