Established in 2005, the Canada Life Real Estate Fund invests in units of the Great-West Life Real Estate Fund.
5999 Monkland Ave, Montreal, QC
Purdy's Wharf, Halifax, NS
Erin Mills Portfolio, Mississauga, ON
Saskatoon West Retail Centre, Saskatoon, SK
as of March 31, 2022
in real estate assets
in total assets
Source of Return
Compound rates of return
(gross of investment management fees)
Three Month – Q1
Diversification by property type
By property type (millions)
Diversification by region
By region (millions)
Q4 2021 Canada Life Real Estate Fund Bulletin
Despite ongoing challenges related to a lingering pandemic, the Canadian Real Estate Fund No.1 produced its strongest level of return since 2012. The 11.6% total gross return was a product of the stability of income (3.7%) and robust capital performance (7.8%) driven largely by the industrial component of the portfolio. The Q4 gross return of 3.9% was the highest performing period for the year. The Fund’s long established historical track record of better than 90% occupancy was maintained, and the value of the Fund’s real estate holdings grew by 9%. Rent collection exceeded 98% in each quarter throughout the year, including a Q4 collection level of 98.5%. Financing activity over the course of 2021 reduced the overall average financing rate in the portfolio by 32 bps to 2.96%.
320 McRae, Ottawa, ON (multifamily construction)
320 McRae, Ottawa, ON (rendering)
Abbotside Way, Brampton, ON (industrial construction)
Abbotside Way, Brampton, ON (rendering)
Laval Industrial, Laval, QC
Goreway Industrial, Brampton, ON
As noted in previous updates, development forms a critical component of forward Fund strategy. The Fund has a series of active projects as well as a deep pipeline of future opportunity in land that is in various stages of pre-development. In Q4, the pipeline was expanded with the acquisition of a 128 net acre parcel of land on the northern boundary of Calgary, AB (Balzac) that will deliver over 2 million square feet of new generation industrial product. Development will be phased, with the first building(s) scheduled for 2025.
Since 2013, the Fund has realized a 30% reduction to its Global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions across its office and residential portfolios through regular energy audits, setting reduction targets and retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. While significant, there is much more ahead and in late 2021, the Fund committed to align with the Federal government target of achieving Net Zero in GHG emissions by 2050. Management will provide timely updates to stakeholders as the ‘road map’ is developed and interim goals are achieved.
With the exception of the office sector, which has open questions on how space will be utilized as the pandemic fades into the background, fundamentals across the balance of core asset classes are positive. Canadian housing remains undersupplied and growth targets for new immigration are aggressive. The cost of home ownership continues to rise at a faster pace than rental rates, which should create favorable conditions for the multi-family portfolio. The retail outlook continues to evolve along with shopping habits, however, the Fund strategy of owning quality, grocery-anchored centres has proved resilient, as highlighted by a 96% occupancy level in that segment of the portfolio. With limited available inventory and soaring demand, industrial rents have grown at an unprecedented pace. Canada however has one of the lowest rates of e-commerce sales penetration relative to its peer nations and, with the expectation that the gap closes, demand from warehousing/logistics users should continue to swell. Portfolio diversification has always been a cornerstone of Fund performance and 2021 certainly served as a validation of Fund strategy.
The Segregated Funds described in this bulletin are offered through a variable insurance contract issued by The Canada Life Assurance Company.
Please note that unit values and investment returns will fluctuate, and past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
For IVIC investors: A description of the key features of the segregated fund policy is contained in the information folder.