Vancouver CRE investment sluggish as residential land drags

Investment in commercial real estate in Vancouver has remained stable during 2019 but far weaker than a year ago.

Figures from the Altus Group show that, throughout the first three quarters of 2019, investment volumes have been between $1.7 billion and $1.8 billion each quarter, but this is a long way from the same period of 2018 when the quarterly average was $3.2 billion.

Year-to-date, overall transaction volume declined by 49% to $5.2 billion with total deal count dropping by 30%.

The residential land market was down to around a third of 2018’s volume at $1.4 billion, roughly the quarterly average of last year.

There was also a decline for the ICI land market, although the drop was a more modest 27% year-over-year in investment volumes to $1.3 billion through the first three quarters of 2019.

Offices lead gains
Through the first three quarters of 2019, the office and industrial markets represent the only assets to record investment volume increases compared to 2018, 8% and 2% respectively.

Year-to-date activity in the apartment market weakened with volume and transactions dropping by 45% and 42%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

“Overall the Vancouver market appears to be stagnant and stuck at levels not seen since 2015, however, a closer look indicates the prevalence of a wide range of purchasers ready to acquire quality improved assets, particularly in the office and industrial markets. Vancouver continues to suffer from supply issues in this regard and we expect new construction projects to only partly satisfy the demand,” noted Paul Richter, Director, Data Solutions at Altus Group.

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