One of Canada’s largest owners of office space has significantly slashed the value of its Alberta properties because of the excess office space left by the economic downturn.
Dream Office REIT (TSX:D.UN) said in its second-quarter results that it has written down the value of its Alberta holdings by $748.4 million this year, or 43 per cent, to about $1 billion.
The real estate investment trust says it moved to cut the holding value because the economic conditions in the province remain soft, and it now believes the economic uncertainty and weakness in the Alberta office sector could be prolonged.
Dream Office said the value of its Alberta investment properties, which include the HSBC Bank Place in Edmonton and the Dominion Centre in Calgary, will remain challenged for the foreseeable future and that their value could drop further.
Office vacancies have spiked in Alberta as energy-related companies cut staff and reduce operations because of the steep drop in oil and gas prices.
Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate is estimated to be over 20 per cent, for the highest vacancy rate in more than 30 years.