Canadian Real Estate CEOs Show Cautious Optimism for Coming Year

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Ferguson Partners Releases Report for What’s Around the Corner for Canada’s Real Estate Market

Canadian real estate executives are bullish about their prospects for the coming year, but a few unknowns, like continued low U.S. interest rates and the level of demand for Canadian products and resources, were cause for caution. The report, “Canadian Real Estate Outlook,” by Ferguson Partners, Ltd. (, brings together insights from some of Canada’s top real estate CEOs to paint a picture of where the Canadian real estate sector is headed in 2013.

“Last year, the Canadian real estate market did enviably well because of the country’s fiscal conservatism and close-knit professional real estate community,” said William J. Ferguson, author of the report and co-chairman and co-CEO of Ferguson Partners. “This year, it seems as though executives have one foot on the gas and one on the brake. On one hand, they’re optimistic about the increasing institutionalization of real estate investors, with capital-rich pension funds and REITs making a bigger imprint on the market. On the other hand, they’re not sure what will happen with global interest rates or demand for Canadian exports – both of which will have a large impact on real estate.”

Overall, a few common themes emerged from interviews with the CEOs, including:

  •     The role of institutional players – such as pension funds, REITs and other corporate organizations – is an overall positive development, adding capital to the market and creating competition.
  •     Macroeconomic factors continue to be an unknown. The CEOs cited several, including concern over future U.S. interest rates, which are closely tied to Canada’s, and global demand for products from Canada’s resource-rich economy.
  •     Leadership values in the Canadian real estate sector need to sustain their strength, to provide assurance to banks as lending tightens.

“Canadian Real Estate Outlook” is a result of conversations with some of Canada’s most prominent real estate CEOs, including Lorne Braithwaite, president and CEO of Build Toronto, Inc.; Michael R. Emory, president, CEO and trustee of Allied Properties REIT; R. Scott Hutcheson, chairman and CEO, Aspen Properties; and David Podmore, chairman and CEO, Concert Properties, Ltd. In addition, the report draws from Bill Ferguson’s newly released book: “Market Discipline - The Competitive Advantage: Lessons from Canada's Real Estate Leaders,” published by the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac).

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About FPL Advisory Group
FPL Advisory Group (FPL) ( is a global professional services firm that specializes in executive search, compensation and management consulting solutions across the real estate, asset and wealth management, hospitality and leisure, and healthcare sectors. FPL is comprised of two primary operating companies that work together to serve a common client base. Ferguson Partners Ltd. provides executive and director recruitment services. FPL Associates provides a range of specialized compensation and management consulting services. FPL is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Boston, New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

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Beth Strautz

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