Commercial Real Estate Market Most Active 1st Quarter in 5 Years

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Land sales drive commercial real estate activity in the first quarter

An increase in raw land sales helped boost commercial real estate totals across the Lower Mainland in the first quarter of 2015, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial sales in the region reached $1.5 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, a 7.6 per cent increase from Q1 2014.

There were 505 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2015, according to Commercial Edge. This is an 8.6 per cent increase compared to the 465 sales recorded in Q1 2014, a 30.5 per cent increase from the 387 sales recorded in Q1 2013, and a 4.1 per cent increase from the 485 sales recorded over the same period in 2012.

“It was the most active first quarter we’ve seen in our commercial market over the last five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity reflects the growth we’re seeing in related sectors within our economy such as retail and manufacturing.”

Q1 2015 activity by category

Land: There were 186 commercial land sales registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA) in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2015, a 13.4 per cent increase from the 164 land sales in Q1 2014. The dollar value of land sales in Q1 2015 was $753 million, up 4.4 per cent from $721 million in Q1 2014.

Office and Retail: There were 167 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2015, a 5.7 per cent increase from the 158 office and retail sales in Q1 2014. The dollar value of office and retail sales in Q1 2015 was $369 million, a 0.7 per cent decline from $371 million in Q1 2014.

Industrial: There were 123 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2015, which is a 6 per cent increase compared to the 116 industrial land sales in Q1 2014. The dollar value of industrial sales in Q1 2015 was $217 million, a 12.3 per cent decline from $248 million in Q1 2014.

Multi-Family: There were 29 multi-family sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2015, which is up 7.4 per cent from the 27 sales in Q1 2014. The dollar value of multi-family sales in Q1 2015 was $231 million, a 95.2 per cent increase from $118 million in Q1 2014.

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