Leading players in Canada’s commercial real estate industry were at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) opening this morning to mark 25 years since the first real estate investment trusts (REITs) were listed. Michael Brooks, chief executive officer of the industry association REALPAC, shared buzzer pressing duties with Loui Anastasopoulos, the TMX Group’s president, capital formation, to launch the day’s trading and celebrate the milestone anniversary.
“Out of the depths of the early 1990s recession, Canadian REITs have emerged as a preferred way for many investors to participate in commercial real estate,” Brooks says. “Canadian REITs have a stellar track record of increasing distributions and growing asset values over this period.”
From the circa 1993 listings of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) and RealFund, which has since merged with RioCan, investors can now look to 44 REITs with a collective market capitalization of $62 billion. That translates to 60 per cent of the market capitalization of all real estate equities traded on the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange.
Together, REITs and other real estate equities have achieved nearly 350 per cent growth in market capitalization during the past 10 years. More than 80 real estate companies have completed an initial public offering over the past 25 years, with BSR REIT and Minto Apartment REIT being the most recent.
“Today, we salute that proud history together with our partners in the industry and affirm our commitment to supporting the continued growth of the real estate sector on our equity markets into the future,” Anastasopoulos says.
“The growth of the Canadian REIT vehicle has been nothing short of remarkable,” Brooks concurs. “The leaders of the these REITs deserve great credit for continuously expanding their investment base and evolving to meet changing investor needs.”