Vancouver office vacancy rates to plunge further—study

In its latest global office report, commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield pointed at a steady trend of Vancouver’s office spaces being progressively filled up over the next few years.

The study found that by 2019, Vancouver is slated to have the second-lowest office vacancy rate in the Western hemisphere (6.3 per cent), coming behind only Toronto (3.9 per cent). Other Canadian cities that are predicted to reach remarkable lows are Orlando (7.2 per cent), Ottawa (7.3 per cent), and Winnipeg (7.4 per cent).

The report added that over the next two years, the 10 fastest-growing office markets in the Americas will include Toronto at 6.6 per cent, Winnipeg (6.4 per cent), Edmonton (4 per cent) and Vancouver (3.7 per cent).

Aside from economic drivers and supply-and-demand pressures, Vancouver boasted of robust development, with 2.3 million square feet of new office space delivered to the downtown area between 2015 and 2017.

“That 2.3 million was the most significant wave of development to arrive in basically the last 25 years in downtown Vancouver,” Cushman & Wakefield national director of research Stuart Barron told the Vancouver Sun. “The strength in the technology sector has been so strong that demand in the B- and C-class buildings has been more-or-less explosive.”

“The creative companies do love creative buildings,” Barron added. “Companies are also taking advantage of the ability to grab on to (new) space and pull their different units together and consolidate and lock in for a longer period.”

Over 700 million square feet of new office space will be built worldwide over the next three years. According to the report, Canada has so far avoided the fate of overbuilding that other major office markets globally are now falling into.

Related stories:
Toronto office real estate a red-hot commodity among tech firms

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