Why you should invest in Manitoba real estate, right now

Canada's central province has a sound and stable economy and could see nation-leading economic growth in 2018, says guest columnist Sandy Shindleman

March 5, 2018



Located in the centre of North America, Manitoba has one of the most stable and diversified economies in Canada. With a land size of almost 650,000 square kilometres, Manitoba is twice the size of the United Kingdom and boasts a population of 1.3 million. 

The capital city, Winnipeg is home to the Forks National Historic Site, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Jets, which as of press time were No. 1 in the NHL Central Division.

Winnipeg is also home to CentrePort Canada, a 20,000-acre inland port, offering opportunities for distribution centres, warehousing and manufacturing. CentrePort’s foreign trade zone program can help companies manage cash flow and inventory through deferred duties, sales tax relief,  duty-free storage and distribution facilities.

Stable economy

Manitoba’s stable economy is due to its wealth of natural resources, such as hydroelectric power and fertile farmland, and its strong manufacturing base. Manitoba is a major exporter of goods around the globe. Major exports include: processed foods, vehicles and transportation equipment, pharmaceuticals and paper products. Leading export markets include the United States, China, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Manitoba’s nominal GDP is expected to grow 3.7 per cent in 2018, the highest in the country.

Farmers in Manitoba harvested a record volume of major crops in 2017.

Manitoba all-area housing starts increased 47.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 – No.1 in Canada.

Residential building construction increased 15.3 per cent and non-residential building construction increased 12.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, to rank No. 3 in Canada. 

Employment increased by more than 10,00 jobs in 2017.

Retail sales increased 3.6 per cent in the first 10 months of 2017.

New motor vehicle sales increased 11.4 per cent in the first 10 months of 2017.

Manufacturing sales increased 5.6 per cent in the first 10 months of 2017.

Wholesale sales increased 7.8 per cent in the first 10 months of last year, according to Manitoba Finance, economic and fiscal analysis branch.

Low costs, high returns

Manitoba has some of the lowest business costs in North America. Winnipeg is a cost leader in aerospace, automotive, chemicals, electronics assembly, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, precision manufacturing and telecommunications.

The province of Manitoba offers competitive tax rates and tax credits for investment in manufacturing equipment and research and development.

Electricity costs in Manitoba are among the lowest in North America.

Manitoba also has numerous affordable industrial land and office opportunities.

Strong consumer confidence drives in everything from housing starts to retail expansion. 

That confidence stems from job growth in Winnipeg, and also from the booming smaller cities of Brandon, Winkler, Morden, Steinbach and Portage la Prairie. French-based Roquette has begun construction on a new $400 million pea processing plant in Portage la Prairie. It will be the largest plant of its kind in the world and one of the largest private-sector investments in the history of Manitoba.

Manitoba will continue to see steady growth in 2018, as people around the world are investing in the province. 

The attractive Canadian dollar and the province’s central North American location, make Manitoba an ideal investment choice. We are a traditional centre of commerce and have been for decades with the advent of both major railways coming through here. We have a 24-hour international airport in Winnipeg, and a solid, reliable workforce.

With political and economic instability affecting Asia, Africa, Europe,the Middle-East, and South America, more and more family offices are turning to Canada and developing relationships with Shindico and other firms in an effort to add Canadian real estate to their investment portfolios.

As a proud Manitoban, I am excited to be the 2018 chair of the Winnipeg Real Estate Forum, which will be held on Wednesday, May 30 at the RBC Convention Centre.


- Manitoba business icon Sandy Shindleman is president and CEO of Shindico, a leading Winnipeg real estate firm. A Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year, he has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, as well as the Susan J. Groeneveld, Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Visionary Award and CCIM People’s Choice Award for Instructor of the Year. He has also contributed generously to many causes, including the Shindleman Aquatic Centre. 

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