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Canada's office REITs face another challenging year, but long-term investors could find some decent entry points in the sector in 2024, portfolio managers told the Canadian Press.

Office REITs Face ‘Darkest Before Dawn’ Scenario: McNabb

Canada’s office REITs face another challenging year, but long-term investors could find some decent entry points in the sector in 2024, portfolio managers told the Canadian Press.

“We are in a ‘darkest before dawn’ scenario heading into 2024 for office REITs,” Michael McNabb, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments, told CP via email.

REITs have been repositioning assets, and in some cases, shifting away from the office sector entirely, as the market grapples with rising vacancy, the work-from-home movement, tenant space and cost reductions, and other pressures following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The office isn’t dead, but I do believe it has changed,” McNabb told CP.

Investor sentiment on office product remains fairly negative and timing the recovery is difficult, Maria Benavente, vice-president and real estate-focused portfolio manager at Dynamic Funds told the wire service.

“It is likely that 10% to 15% of demand has been permanently destroyed with [work-from-home] trends,” she said. “We expect it to continue to be a market of haves and have-nots.”

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Michael McNabbMaria Benavente

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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