GLOBAL - Dundee Real Estate Investment Trust's recent acquisition of 29 office properties worth $881.2m (€540.6m) from private equity giant Blackstone shows the Canadian market is coming back strongly.
Bruce Traversy, senior vice-president of investment and asset management at Dundee REIT, Canada's largest REIT firm, said the deal was the biggest of its kind for a Canadian company.
"We have been very active buyers over the past two years," he said.
Traversy pointed out that the housing market in Canada, in spite of its close links to the US economy, had been relatively resilient given the overall cautious nature of Canadian financial institutions.
With the exception of Calgary, where the market has rebounded strongly, there had been very little overdevelopment in the country, he said.
"With our natural resources, when things start improving, we will come back very strongly," Traversy added.
The office properties in the Blackstone deal are located in downtown Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary, totalling a 2.7m square feet.
The company also recently acquired a 28-storey, 1m square foot office building located in downtown Montreal.
In sum, Dundee REIT has acquired more than $870m worth of properties so far this year, bringing the total over the past 24 months to $2.7bn.
As its real estate investment values rose, Blackstone, which reported record earnings last week backed by real estate gains, began looking for buyers in May.
"The market is good, products are available, and there is a nice balance of sellers and buyers," Traversy said.