Businesses may be holding back on leasing amid NAFTA talks

The strong economy should be driving demand for commercial properties in the Greater Toronto Area, but the ongoing uncertainty over NAFTA may be weighing on businesses’ decisions.

Figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Commercial Network reveal a drop in leasing activity in May with 210,579 square feet of combined industrial, commercial/retail and office space leased through its MLS system (where pricing was disclosed), down from 389,671 square feet of leased space reported in May 2017.

"While the amount of space leased in May was down compared to May 2017, results can be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Regional economic conditions suggest that the demand for all types of commercial space should be strong. However, the positive impact of a strong regional economy could be mitigated by the emerging trade dispute between the United States and Canada. Some businesses could put their decision to take on more space on hold until there is more clarity on how the trade situation will unfold," said Tim Syrianos, TREB president.

Total industrial, commercial/retail and office property sales, with pricing disclosed, amounted to 42 in May 2018, down from 85 in May 2017.

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