Investor Pursuit of Apartment Assets Continues Unabated

$83.5 million Quebec City apartment portfolio sale is one of the year’s largest

MONTREAL, September 5, 2013 Despite Canadians’ fixation with the direction of the housing market, investors remain keen to acquire apartment assets. The Société Immobilière Huot recently came to market with three institutional-quality buildings in Quebec City, which were marketed by CBRE Limited. Two of those buildings were acquired by Oxford Properties Group for a total of $83.5 million. This transaction reinforces the fact that there is strong demand for rental properties as both an option for housing and as an investment vehicle.

“The Huot Portfolio presented a unique opportunity due to the quality of the assets and their proximity to each other,” said Benoit Poulin, Senior Vice President at CBRE Limited. “These are outstanding assets in a strong market.”

“These new vintage, institutional quality assets fit well with Oxford’s existing portfolio and the transaction is in-line with our larger Canadian multi-residential investment strategy,” said Tyler Seaman, Vice President, Oxford Properties Group. “We believe in the Quebec City market and see a strong future for these properties.”

The two buildings purchased by Oxford are located north of Highway 40, just west of Robert-Bourassa Boulevard at Avenue Chauveau, in close proximity to the 1.6 million square foot Les Galeries de la Capitale shopping centre which is also owned and managed by Oxford. L’Aristocrate, a 213-unit building, and Domaine des Méandres, a 204-unit building, were built in 2009 and 2011, respectively. At over $200,000 per unit, the sale price reflects the quality of the buildings, their location, and investor appetite for apartment assets.

“It is not every day that assets of this quality come to market and garner pricing at this level; however, CBRE’s National Apartment Group continues to see strong investor interest in a wide range of multi-residential properties across the country,” said Marc Hetu, Associate Vice President with CBRE. “The pool of interested buyers has grown since 2008, as investors remain focused on adding stable income producing properties to their portfolios.”

Quebec has the largest pool of rental units in Canada and Quebec City is particularly desirable for investors because of its stable tenant base and increasingly dynamic economy. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported a 2.5% overall vacancy rate in Canada at mid-year 2013. Vacancy is similarly low in Montreal at 3.0% and Quebec City at a mere 2.2%. Landlords have been able to increase rents by 3.3% year-over-year on average across the country, while tight conditions in Quebec City have supported a 4.9% average increase in rental rates to an average of $728 per month as of mid-year 2013. 

“Low vacancy and rental rate growth show just how robust the rental housing market is,” said Poulin. “Owners are often hesitant to part with quality product; however, the Huot Portfolio shows that it is possible to maximize property values in the current market.” 


About C​BRE

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2012 revenue).  The Company has approximately 37,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through mor​e than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

In Canada, CBRE Limited employs approximately 1,850 people in 24 locations from coast to coast. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ca.

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