Greater Toronto Area Commercial Real Estate

Investment Review

Fourth Quarter 2021

After being held back by uncertain circumstances in 2020, investors made up for lost time in 2021, taking advantage of free-flowing capital and low borrowing costs as they poured nearly $23.5 billion into Greater Toronto Area (GTA) commercial real estate assets during the year – up 92% year-over-year.

This exceeded the previous record-high annual total ($17.7 billion in 2019) by 33%. Against the backdrop of heated development and robust housing demand across the GTA, industrial, ICI land and multi-residential assets were the top priorities for buyers once again.

GTA Investment Activity by Sector and Dollar Volume


Average cap rate for all asset types GTA-wide – down 20 bps year-over-year


Total industrial investment sales in 2021 – accounting for 32% of total GTA investment


GTA-wide investment sales in 2021 - up 92% compared with 2020’s result

GTA Investment Volume

GTA Select Capitalization Rates


Coming off record-high sales volume in the third quarter, investment in the industrial sector backed off 11% quarter-over-quarter to a still-lofty $2.3 billion (representing 29% of the GTA total), for a full-year total of $7.6 billion.

ICI Land

Developers and investors alike continue to clamour for ICI land assets as the GTA’s development boom rolls on. Quarterly investment volume of $1.9 billion (25% of GTA total) was up 28% quarter-over-quarter and 214% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020.


After seven straight quarters as the least-traded asset class in the GTA, investment activity in the office sector rebounded in fourth-quarter 2021 to reach $1.4 billion (18% of GTA total) – up 106% quarter-over-quarter – for a full-year total of nearly $2.8 billion.


Retail investment increased for the sixth straight quarter, led by the sale of Kennedy Commons for $215 million ($522 psf)

Image - Kennedy Commons


Investment volume in the retail sector increased for the sixth consecutive quarter to $1.2 billion (16% of GTA total), representing growth of 26% quarter-over-quarter and 119% compared with fourth-quarter 2020.


With unquenchable demand for housing in the GTA, activity in the multi-residential sector is restricted mainly by the limited supply of assets offered for sale. Sales volume totaled $896 million during fourth-quarter 2021 (12% of GTA total) – a decrease of 33% quarter-over-quarter but in line with the fourth-quarter result one year earlier.

For more market information

Steven Preston Research Manager, Downtown Toronto +1 416.673.4010

Warren D'Souza Research Manager, Suburban Markets +1 905.283.2331

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