Vancouver commercial investment is not having a good 2019 so far

by Ephraim Vecina10 Jun 2019

Aside from a surging office market, commercial asset investment in Vancouver has been weak so far this year, according to new research by Altus Group.

A total of 322 commercial transactions were completed in the market during the first quarter, shrinking by 49% annually. Altus Group director of data solutions Paul Richter noted that this was the lowest commercial volume seen in Vancouver in several years.

Only the city’s office segment experienced net gains in Q1 2019, with sales going up to 26 (from the 16 seen the quarter prior).

The retail sector suffered its second consecutive decrease in overall investment during the quarter to end up at 35 transactions worth $136 million.

Meanwhile, the industrial sector’s volume dramatically plunged by 54% year-over-year, ending up at $228 million. This was even more noteworthy considering that the sector enjoyed its all-time investment high during Q4 2018.

Residential land investment was at $446 million during Q1 2019. This was the segment’s first sub-$1-billion level seen in 13 quarters, and its lowest dollar volume since Q2 2014.

Altus warned that the Vancouver commercial segment’s condition over the past few years has been especially concerning.

“The lowest transaction volume since Q1 2013 is reflective of the gap between vendor and purchaser price expectations, the lack of product and has resulted in decreased market activity,” Richter explained.

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