Issue link: http://read.ca.pwc.com/i/90582
suggests hold, over 37 percent would buy retail commercial real estate in Toronto. Say interviewees: "new retailers need extra development capacity, especially around the Toronto area," and "retail underserviced by urban retail [i.e., malls] in Toronto; it is a closed market [i.e., a few developers controlling urban retail space] so retailers are being pushed away." Toronto may have taken a few steps back in survey results, but comments such as "the city has strong fundamentals" and "it is a landlord's market over the next 12 to 24 months,” suggest that the city still has strong positive investor sentiment. Vancouver (4). Vancouver's economy has sharpened up and will look to continue that trend into 2013. Gross domestic product forecasts show growth of 2.5 percent in 2012, followed by a spike of 3.7 percent in 2013. The increase in production is driven by an expected increase in employment of 2.3 percent, exceeding ten-year average growth by 36 basis points. More than 72,000 jobs have been added to this market since the employment slowdown in 2009. With a slightly lower cost of living (with the exception of housing) than the country, Vancouver has seen consumer spending be a key driver of the economy. This trend looks to continue, with retail sales projected to increase another 4.8 percent in the coming year. These statistics are all great support for real estate, as some interviewees believe, "Vancouver is still positive and the place to be," and "Vancouver is attractive. "Some interviewees still believe in opportunities in Vancouver, but Emerging Trends survey results show declines in all three categories. The investment prospect value for Vancouver declined 0.47 points, and the rank dropped from second to fourth. An interviewee notes, "overbuilt Vancouver is flat. Lots of sup- ply." Development prospects showed similar movement—down in value and rank, falling from first last year to fifth in 2013. Vancouver's government red tape continues to make it more difficult to develop real estate every year. Homebuilding prospects also do not look as strong year-over-year—down by a value of 0.50 points, from first to sixth. Housing start forecasts look to be just shy of 18,000 next year. "Less high-end product is moving in Greater Vancouver. Sellers are dropping prices. Lower-priced product continues to move." Even with a decline in rating values, prospects still exist in Vancouver. Buy/ hold/sell recommendations suggest buying office, apartment, and industrial, in that order. Interviewees agree: "multi-residential is strong in Vancouver," and "my personal choice is to live in Vancouver." Office and apartment results are similar to 2012, but industrial saw a 6.5 percent spike in buy suggestions. The gradual sign of manufacturing growth is a key contributor to the increased interest in industrial space. The 2012 forecasts for manufacturing suggest 2.5 percent growth, marking the third-straight positive year.