Strength in travel demand continued throughout the third quarter, culminating to a 22 per cent rise in RevPAR through YTD Q3 2023 versus the same period in 2019.
Quarterly results for the three months ending September saw continued strength, seeing a 24.2 per cent rise in national RevPAR with occupancies surpassing the same period in 2019. Results were consistent across most geographies with the economy, mid, and upscale classes of the market slightly edging out the upper upscale and luxury classes. YTD Q3 2023 national RevPAR vs. YTD Q3 2019 was up 21.8 per cent.
Growing cross border travel is aiding the recovery with StatCan reporting that as of YTD August 2023 a total of 12.6 million overnight trips by non residents to Canada were made, up 54 per cent over 2022 levels, although still 20 per cent below comparable levels in 2019.
Following a robust showing in the second quarter with nearly $800 million in closed volume, hotel transaction activity slowed in Q3 with approximately $225 million of hotel sales nationwide. A slower than expected Q3 brought year to date transaction volume to just over $1.3 billion, comparable to investment levels in 2022; however, with a more dominant focus on sales for continued hotel use (90 per cent of volume to date versus 73 per cent for the same period last year).
While the quarter saw some stand out transactions including the Ottawa Marriott Hotel and Ramada Kelowna, overall investment volume was constrained by limited mid-market investment opportunities and 70 per cent of deals for the quarter transacting under $10 million. Private investors have been the most active buyers of hotel real estate by volume so far this year, targeting smaller properties with an averaging deal size of $6 million, followed closely by hotel investment companies who are behind several of the year’s most significant hotel and resort transactions to date. Based on the current deal pipeline, Colliers forecasts year-end volume will hover closer to the $1.5 billion range with several larger transactions expected to roll into early 2024.
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