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Avison Young Plans $19M In Budget Cuts, Including Layoffs

Another international commercial brokerage is slashing its budget and laying off workers in response to difficult economic conditions and a collapse in transaction activity.

18 York St. in Toronto, home of Avison Young's global headquarters.

Avison Young is planning C$25M ($18.5M) in budget cuts across its international operations, according to an announcement to employees first reported by CoStar and confirmed by Bisnow.

Representatives for Avison Young provided the following statement when reached for comment:

"Avison Young has made the difficult decision to make C$25M in cost reductions to our global business, including staff downsizing, to navigate the current economy and position ourselves for the future," the statement read. "This decision will impact all geographies and levels of the business and follows global cost containment initiatives; we aim to complete these actions as quickly as possible in compliance with all applicable laws.

"As a firm powered by people, we are committed to treating impacted staff members with the transparency, respect and support they deserve.”

The Toronto-based, privately owned firm employs about 5,000 workers, according to its website.

In August, Avison Young added 235 employees when it acquired Madison Marquette's office and industrial property management, agency leasing and project management divisions. It came at what now appears to be the tail end of a period of consolidation in the brokerage and services industry.

As third-quarter data has been released, the Federal Reserve's aggressive pattern of interest rate hikes to combat inflation has hit property markets hard. Property values have dropped by 13%, according to one measure, and new debt is much more expensive to acquire than it was early this year. 

With market conditions discouraging transactions but rent growth in multifamily and industrial still favoring ownership, services and brokerage firms that rely on activity have responded by tightening their belts and laying off workers.

CBRE announced $400M in budget cuts, $300M of which would be permanent, and focused on trimming its 100,000-strong workforce, at the end of October. JLL instituted a round of layoffs that affected at least its Chicago and New York offices on Nov. 15.

Cushman & Wakefield, Newmark, Marcus & Millichap and Colliers all are in cost reduction mode, though they have yet to specify if staff will be affected.