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Massive Edmonton apartment deals boost city's multi-family market

'Every residential REIT in Canada has eyes on Edmonton right now if they are not already here'
10823 Jasper
238-unit multi-family property, with retail space, was among Edmonton’s biggest deals of 2019. | Marcus & Millichap

The Mayfair, a mixed-use multi-family complex on Jasper Avenue with 24,901 square feet of ground-floor retail, sold for $100 million in December, in a single deal that nearly equalled the total $120 million in multi-family sales in the city during the first half of 2019. 

And on January 15, Alberta's capital got off to a flying start as Toronto-based Centurion Apartment Real Estate Trust purchased a mixed-use, multi-family portfolio in Edmonton for a whopping $205 million

Edmonton multi-family specialist Bradley Gingerich, senior managing director, investments, at Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a subsidiary of California-based Marcus & Millichap, suugested that large institutional buyers, such as real estate investment trusts (REITS), may dominate the Edmonton multi-family market over the next few years. Gingerich, with fellow IPA team members Paul Chaput, Bradyn Arth and Jane Woertman brokered the transaction in co-operation with CBRE in Edmonton.

"Edmonton is becoming an increasingly attractive option for Eastern-based REITS," Gingerich said.

The $205 million Centurion Apartment REIT deal was for a total of 832 rental suites, plus nearly 39,000 square feet of commercial space, across three complexes built in 1968, 1971 and 2002.

Centurion has been busy with multi-family deals in Western Canada, having also recently bought a new rental building in Victoria for $32.7 million.

Built in 2016, the Mayfair comprises 238 units of residential rentals and 10 retail outlets. 

Edmonton has a residential rental vacancy rate of 4.9 per cent, according to the latest data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.