Whatmore Cites Growing Tech Sector and a Renascent Industrial Sector as Reasons for Optimism for London’s Commercial Real Estate Market at CBRE’s Southwest Ontario Market Outlook Event

London – March 28, 2017Peter Whatmore, Senior Vice President of CBRE Southwestern Ontario today made a compelling case for an optimistic outlook on London’s commercial real estate (‘CRE’) market to over 225 attendees at CBRE’s annual Southwestern Ontario Market Outlook event. The two major reasons? Healthy growth in London’s tech economy and a resurgent industrial market with the lowest availability rate since the 2008 recession.

“Technology is quickly becoming one of the leading economic drivers in London, and this is being largely spearheaded by local entrepreneurs. Last year, over 1,000 new tech jobs were created in London and we’ve seen several tech firms lease significant amounts of new office space. We expect this momentum to grow in 2017,” commented Whatmore.

Whatmore pointed to the leasing of new space by Digital Extremes, Voices.com, Autodata, ZTR Controls and Start.Ca as examples of this growth and highlighted the city’s growing strength in Digital Media.

“A number of post-secondary institutions now offer Digital Media programs which has greatly expanded the talent pool in the city. In particular, Fanshawe College is creating great new talent, with strong business plans, and its Digital Media program has been so successful its currently constructing a new Digital Media campus in downtown London that will house approximately 1,500 students,” added Whatmore.

Turning to the industrial market, Whatmore informed attendees that, at 7.8%, London now has the lowest availability rate since prior to the 2008 recession. He added that the availability rate is predicted to fall even lower during 2017 to 7.1% and that the increased demand is being driven by the automotive, distribution and food sectors.

“London’s industrial sector is resurgent and availability has decreased by roughly a third since the start of 2015. The industrial market has long been known as an accurate bellwether of the wider economy, so this is very much a good news story for the city of London. With a lack of quality industrial space now available, 2017 may see the start of new and speculative development where developers, in order to deliver new product quickly to the market, start construction before agreeing any leases with tenants. This, again, speaks to the growing vitality of the London market.”

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