Manufacturing SMEs are facing significant rent increases these days.

Edgar Belleau is president of Instacable Computer Cables, a manufacturer of cable harnesses for the telecom sector with 14 employees. Housed at 2800, rue Joseph-A.-Bombardier, in the A440 sector, near the A13 in Laval, the 63-year-old man pays $7.50 in rent per square foot. His lease expires next July.

In an interview, Mr. Belleau says he is looking for a 40% smaller room in the northern crown, in order to minimize the bill.

The case of Mr. Belleau, which was first made public by the Journal de Montréal, is far from being unique, if we are to believe the words of Bruce Cowper, managing partner of Cresa, a real estate agency specializing in the representation of tenants.

“In a transaction that I just concluded, he says, the rent was around $6 net [per square foot], an amount that had been fixed for five years. At the end of the term, due to a lack of options, the customer renewed his lease despite a 300% increase in net rent with annual indexations varying from 3% to 5%. For me, this is very new behavior on the part of the owners. »

“I imagine that companies find it very difficult, continues the experienced broker. In my opinion, there will certainly be people who will close up shop since they will be unable to support these levels of rent. »

In the 4th quarter of 2022, the net asking rent amounted to $14.56 per square foot on average in the Montreal area, according to the market study carried out by the agency Cresa. The availability rate for industrial premises was only 1.1%.

“I expect market conditions to remain the same in 2023 [despite rising interest rates] because space availability remains scarce. It will remain difficult for tenants, ”believes Bruce Cowper.

The Caisse de depot did not make much of it, but the president and chief executive officer of its real estate subsidiary, Nathalie Palladitcheff, received the prestigious career prize from the specialized publication PERE (for Private Equity Real Estate) in early March.

“I’m carrying the prize, but it’s obviously all of Ivanhoé Cambridge and the Caisse that are behind it. I’m just the ambassador. But it is obviously a matter of pride. I am particularly proud because this is the first time that a Canadian has won this award,” said Ms. Palladitcheff in an interview with La Presse. Originally from France, the CEO obtained her Canadian citizenship 18 months ago.

This prize is awarded after consultation with the main leaders of the largest real estate investors on the planet.

This award highlights the work of repositioning the Ivanhoé Cambridge portfolio, which Ms. Palladitcheff undertook upon her arrival at the head of the organization.

“When I was appointed, she explains, we had as asset categories, in order, shopping centers, offices, residential and logistics. Today, it is exactly the opposite. »

Shopping malls are in decline with the rise of e-commerce.

Ivanhoé, under Ms. Palladitcheff, has also decided to focus on its role as an investor and to cease acting as a vertically integrated real estate operating company. Ivanhoé has thus outsourced the management of its Canadian shopping centers to the American JLL. Approximately 330 employees left Ivanhoe for a new employer.

It was a bold move as Ivanhoé was turning its back on its origins, the company having been active in the operation of shopping centers since its founding in 1954 by grocer Sam Steinberg.

“I think what’s recognized through this award is that we’ve been pretty forward-thinking in our ability to move before it’s too late,” she said. There are many of our peers who see that the choices we have made, whether on the construction of the portfolio, the business model or our commitments in terms of ESG and diversity, are choices that are paying off. . »

The subsidiary delivered a return of 12.4% in 2022 despite the rise in interest rates, which are usually harmful to the real estate sector. At the same time, the real estate sub-index of the S

Ivanhoé Cambridge’s return had been 12.1% in 2021 and -15.6%, during Ms. Palladitcheff’s first full year at its helm.

Since 2018, the City of Montreal has offered financial support to first-time buyers. The budget allocated for this purpose is not fully used. The official opposition will submit a motion to the next municipal council to optimize the program.

The opposition is calling for the program to set a cap on eligible household incomes based on a sliding scale approach. Less aid would be granted from a certain threshold to disappear completely at a higher level of income.

“The administration is giving subsidies even to buyers with strong backs for whom the housing affordability crisis is not an issue. “, deplores Councilor Julien Hénault-Ratelle, official opposition spokesperson for economic development.

In return, the elected representative of Ensemble Montréal wants the program to grant additional assistance to single-parent households, which are often less well-off than two-parent households.

Finally, the councilors elected under the banner of the Ensemble Montréal party recommend increasing from 5 to 7 years the period of monitoring compliance with the conditions of the program without having to increase the budget provided for this purpose. About 12% of audited cases do not meet the program’s eligibility criteria, said the Tétreaultville district councilor.

The program pays up to $15,000 towards the purchase of a new property of at least $610,000 in the city center for a family with children. This amount is $10,000 outside the city center for a property with a maximum value of $540,000. For an existing property of $725,000 or less, assistance ranges from $5,000 to $7,000.

On the side of the cabinet of the executive committee, it is said to be in the process of analyzing the proposal of the opposition and to see the impacts that various changes to the criteria could have on the achievement of the objectives of the program.