The Vancouver Real Estate Forum is the only place to be Tuesday for more than 1,100 commercial real estate professionals with West Coast interests.
On Twitter at #VREF2017, the forum is the latest in a series of 16 such events held across Canada each year. It will build on what has been a very successful year for the forums, which are conducted by Informa Global Solutions.
“There is a very, very, very strong amount of interest in trying to get invested in the real estate market,” said George Przybylowski, Informa’s Vice President of Construction and Real Estate.
“Fixed income and bonds have not gone anywhere since 2009, so that asset class hasn’t been very viable for most investors. That’s why real estate has provided a great alternative.”
Przybylowski said there is one main reason why so many industry executives flock to the events: the search for “clarity”.
“It’s always a theme of ‘where are we in the cycle’ and people always want to know, ‘is it black or is it white?’ ”
Tailored to market
That is what the panelists will be seeking to provide during the day-long program at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Like all Informa events, content is tailored to the market, with sessions exploring topics such as:
* The Asian Influence: How is Foreign Capital Investment Affecting B.C.?;
* Working With First Nations: Land Development in Metro Vancouver, and;
* The Dragon’s Den: How Much Will Investors Pay For Real Estate Assets in Vancouver?
Issues which affect CRE across Canada will also explored, but with a local flavour, including a look at Growth, Development and Infrastructure: Where is Metro Vancouver Headed?
The morning keynote features Douglas Porter, Chief Economist and Managing Director, BMO Financial Group, on the Economic Outlook for Canada: What Lies Ahead? Futurist Nikolas Badminton takes centre stage at mid-day, discussing Vancouver: The Exponential City. The wrapup roundtable tackles Predictions and Assessing the Challenges in 2017 and Beyond.
‘Incredible cap rate compressions’
“Vancouver has seen some of the most incredible cap rate compressions of any market in Canada on the investment side,” Przybylowski said, “so it is quite interesting to see how people feel.
“And, what the temperature of the water will be about whether there is still room here for people to get into the market, in any shape or form, at any reasonable type of price.”
The forums have become so popular they now facilitate the creation of related events. SVN Rock Advisors Inc. Brokerage hosted well over 100 participants from across Canada Monday at its Western Canada New Apartment Construction and Development Workshop.
Spinoff #AptCon event
Also held at the convention centre, the half-day #AptCon discussed Canadian markets ripe for new apartment development, feasibility studies and financial and sensitivity analyses for major projects.
Promotion for the workshop, conducted by SVN CEO Derek Lobo, called the atmosphere in Vancouver a “gold rush to build apartments.”
“Vancouver is the hottest rental market in Canada and we think new apartment construction there is about to explode,” said Lobo. “This is one of the best development opportunities anywhere in Canada.”
Przybylowski isn’t surprised at the interest, or the culture, building around the forums.
“Last year was an all-time record amount of real estate transactions in Canada, $37.4 billion,” he said, meaning interest in CRE is near an all-time high.
Investors and industry professionals alike want every speck of information they can get to help answer the (multi?)-million-dollar question:
“Where are we going, going forward?” Przybylowksi said.
FOLLOW US LIVE: RENX Managing Editor Don Wilcox is in Vancouver for the event. We’ll be Tweeting highlights through the day @RENXca. The official hashtag for the event is #VREF2017.