Establishing True Valuations Across Differing Markets 

March 3rd, 2023

Should every investor buy into the Southern Ontario industrial market?

And should every industrial property owner try to cash out at some of the strongest valuations we’ve ever seen (despite the hairiness of increased interest rates)?

Well, this begs the question if one should do anything ‘just because’ it is opportunistic and can be validated by the opinions and actions of others. To address the above questions: yes, one should, but if, and only if, one meets certain criteria.

At the end of the day, we are looking to manage returns and risk, and to do so in a way that aligns with our own personal preferences and long-term objectives. If all the proverbial boxes are ticked, then the question becomes, “how does one do it?”

And despite all of the data and intel at our fingertips, we are no doubt moving through uncharted waters. The ability to predict and insulate oneself from future shifts in the market through prudent management may be more top-of-mind now than speed-to-market or aggressive acquisitions and asset-banking.

Looking back at the momentous upswing in popularity of the GTA’s industrial market, making decisions on the way up is relatively simple. When market and economic fundamentals are good, we can at least rationalize our moves in knowing that we have an out (through selling) and that we can lock in new gains in rents or values – even if they are not at new watermark levels (i.e. leasing our property for $16 PSF net and missing out on a few potential extra dollars).

Today, however, strategy is everything. Finding value is more difficult. Being ready to pounce on opportunities will not only position you to grow in difficult times, but to cultivate greater returns when the economy strengthens once more.

How we do this, as was raised earlier, is twofold. Managing oneself and one’s portfolio, and carefully poring over inbound data and intelligence to quickly analyze, verify, and execute on deals that make sense for you or your organization.

So with that said, let’s examine how each of the Greater Toronto Area regions performed in Q4 2022, and where we expect the market to go moving forward.

Key Takeaways from Q4 2022 – Toronto East Markets

  • The availability rate was 0.3% with 0.2% available for lease and 0.1% available for sale;
  • We had 2,156,024 SF of new supply and 2,174,226 SF still under construction;
  • We had 2,591,384 SF of absorption;
  • The weighted average asking net rent was $14.63 with additional rent of $3.56 PSF; and 
  • There was no weighted average asking sale price due to limited availability. 

Why are the GTA East Markets in such demand?

Generally, the Toronto-East markets have strong economics – relatively inexpensive land compared to other markets in the GTA, better availability of land, better located industrial land with proximity to the City, relatively low development charges, and great access to major highways.

We have seen a number of major Users and Developers step in and make commitments on large pieces of land for spec development and design build, which amounts to millions of square feet being built and in the pipeline.

So, if you are an Investor, Landlord, or Owner-Occupier you may be wondering…

“How much is my property really worth?” 

What rental rate can I expect? How much $/PSF would I be able to get if I sold my building?

These questions are being asked all the time.

The answer to this will depend on a range of factors, including: 

  • the age and size of the building, 
  • lot size, 
  • ceiling height, 
  • office component, 
  • parking, 
  • trucking access, 
  • truck parking if available, etc….
In order to get to the truth, we need to dig a bit deeper…

This week we are covering the Toronto-East Markets
(Pickering, Ajax, Whitby & Oshawa) 

Statistical Summary – GTA East Markets – Q4 2022 

Q4 2022 GTA Industrial Market Overview – Source: Cushman & Wakefield
Q4 2022, Industrial Market Overview – Source: Cushman & Wakefield
So let’s take a closer look at how the different Toronto East Markets performed during Q4 2022…
GTA East Markets (Pickering)
Properties Sold/Leased between October 2022 – December 2022, from 20,000 SF plus
In the Pickering submarket in Q4 2022, a total of 2 properties were sold (totalling 49,340 SF); 1 was an investment sale and 1 was a user sale. The prices achieved were in the range of $293 PSF – $349 PSF, with an average building size of 24,670 SF and an average price of $321 PSF. No properties were leased in Pickering during the same time period.

890 Dillingham Road, Pickering
GTA East Markets (Ajax)
Properties Sold/Leased between October 2022 – December 2022, from 20,000 SF plus
Just one property was leased in Ajax in Q4 2022 – it was 102,011 SF in size. No properties were sold in Ajax during the same time period.
675 Harwood Avenue North, Ajax
GTA East Markets (Whitby)
Properties Sold between October 2022 – December 2022, from 20,000 SF plus
In Whitby in Q4 2022, a 518,731 SF property was sold for $138,000,000 or $296 PSF. 

5185 Garrard Road, Whitby
GTA East Markets (Whitby)
Properties Leased between October 2022 – December 2022, from 20,000 SF plus
Just one property was leased in Whitby in Q4 2022 – it was 30,000 SF in size.

0 Woodrow Court, Whitby
GTA East Markets (Oshawa)
Properties Sold/Leased between October 2022 – December 2022, from 20,000 SF plus
Just one property was leased in Oshawa in Q4 2022; it was 56,527 SF in size. No properties were sold during the same time period.

145 Clarence Biesenthal Drive, Oshawa
What Lies Ahead:
  1. Rental Rates: Currently, rental rates average $14.63 PSF net in the GTA East, the lowest of all GTA submarkets; where all of the others are already well over $17.00 PSF net. Approximately 2.6 MSF of the 6.6 MSF absorbed in the GTA was taken in the East markets in Q4, second only to the West markets. We have already seen quite an increase in rental rates and land values in the East as they catch up to other Regions, however, we expect rents to increase at a slower, decelerating rate. 
  2. Property Values: Property values, like rental rates, are considerably lower relative to the other GTA submarkets… but also increasing as investors and developers act on the opportunities and relative discount. 
  3. Development Opportunities: We are seeing a lot more development than ever before as the GTA East now has more pipeline than the Central and North Regions at 2,174,226 SF under construction. Big players such as Panattoni, Carttera, Crestpoint, Blackwood, PIRET, etc. (to name a few) are all involved… and it will continue. 

So, how much is your property really worth?

What rental rate can you expect or how much per SF would you be able to get if you sell your building? How much can we compress CAP rates to create even greater value?

Well, the answers to these questions will depend on a variety of factors, many of which we can quickly uncover in an assessment of your situation. And with our rental rates and valuations at all-time highs, and vacancy rates low, finding the right property is a real challenge.

Having said that, a lot of transactions are being done off the market.. and to participate in that, you should connect with experienced brokers that have long-standing relationships with property owners.  

For a confidential consultation or a complimentary opinion of value of your property please give us a call.

Until next week…

Goran Brelih and his team have been servicing Investors and Occupiers of Industrial properties in Toronto Central and Toronto North markets for the past 30 years.

Goran Brelih is an Executive Vice President for Cushman & Wakefield ULC in the Greater Toronto Area.

Over the past 30 years, he has been involved in the lease or sale of approximately 25.7 million square feet of industrial space, valued in excess of $1.6 billion dollars while averaging between 40 and 50 transactions per year and achieving the highest level of sales, from the President’s Round Table to Top Ten in GTA and the National Top Ten.

Industrial Real Estate Sales and Leasing, Investment Sales, Design-Build and Land Development

About Cushman & Wakefield ULC.
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 53,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries.

In 2020, the firm had revenue of $7.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit

For more information on GTA Industrial Real Estate Market or to discuss how they can assist you with your real estate needs please contact Goran at 416-756-5456, email at, or visit

Connect with Me Here! – Goran Brelih’s Linkedin Profile:

Goran Brelih, SIOR

Executive Vice President, Broker
Cushman & Wakefield ULC, Brokerage.

Office: 416-756-5456
Mobile: 416-458-4264


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