Halifax, located in the picturesque province of Nova Scotia, serves as the business, banking, economic, educational and cultural centre for Canada’s Maritime region. As the provincial capital, Halifax also plays an important role in the Eastern Canadian and national economies.
Halifax’s major industries include shipbuilding, which stands to benefit for the next three decades after the awarding of a multi-billion-dollar federal contract to the region; defence and transportation. The seaport also serves as the country’s Atlantic Gateway, facilitating trade between Canada and Europe.
As a result of its relatively small size, Halifax has displayed strong real estate fundamentals and resistance to global economic impacts in recent years. The office, retail and industrial sectors all show signs of ongoing growth over the next few years.
Supply pressures, especially in the downtown market, have eased in recent years as a result of the delivery of a new office tower and further planning on a convention centre expansion that will include an office component among its mixed-use offerings. The awarding of a 30-year shipbuilding contract to the region will have a strong impact on the office sector as transportation, engineering and legal firms, along with government agencies, require more space over the long term.
The Halifax retail sector has enjoyed slow but steady growth in recent years, and new development and redevelopment of existing sites have eased supply constraints in the face of ongoing strong demand.
The demand is expected to continue to rise steadily as more young people choose to remain in Halifax and slow a trend of western migration that hindered the region’s economic growth in previous decades.
Thanks to a large federal shipbuilding contract, the revitalized industrial market is expected to flourish into the next decade and beyond. Manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, logistics firms and government operations, among others, are expected to show increasingly strong demand as more major shipbuilding projects come on stream with the release of federal capital.
The Halifax investment market is expected to gain considerably from the growth of the industrial sector. In recent years, investment activity has picked up, but supply constraints remained an ongoing concern as investors adopted a buy-and-hold strategy, especially with institutional-grade assets. The increased shipbuilding activity will help easy supply pressures while fostering continued strong demand.