The GTA Toronto, Mississauga and Vaughan industrial market has remained constant and very favourable to landlords. Forecasts at the beginning of Q4 2020 for stricter COVID-19 19 lockdowns and increasing COVID-19 cases came to fruition as the quarter closed and the Ontario Government issued stricter lockdown measures on December 26th, further escalating to stay-at-home orders extending to mid-February 2021, Despite fundamental slowdowns in the office and retail markets, Toronto and surrounding areas continue to see rising net listing rates and low vacancy in the industrial market, as essential businesses continue to operate, and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout progresses. Overall net asking rents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were $10.08 per square foot (per sq.ft.) at the end of the quarter, a 14.0% increase compared to Q4 2019 and a 1.3% increase compared to Q3 2020. Vacancy rates remained low, at 1.5%, an increase of 10 basis points (bps) from 1.4% in Q4 2019. Leasing activity totalled 5.5 million square feet in Q4 2020, slightly above Q4 2019 figures.
Amazon continues to be a mainstay in notable quarterly leasing transactions, leasing 235,000 square feet at 2300 North Park Drive, following its leases at Salem Road and Rossland Road East in Ajax and 400 Nugget Avenue in Scarborough in Q3 2020, which combined for a total of 1.7 MSF.
Sales activity continued its upward trend, with transactions totalling $1.5B, over twice the value in Q3 2020. Notable sales in the quarter include Quadreal’s purchases of 1 Steelcase Road West for $93M from Liberty Development Corporation and 145 Carrier Drive for $48M from Hudson’s Bay Company.