The commercial property sector of Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is also experiencing a downturn in sales.
According to data released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver today, sales fell by 19.5% to 565 commercial sales in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year when there were 702 sales.
During this period, compared to the same quarter in 2017, sales of land zoned for commercial uses plummeted by 34.8% from 305 to 199 sales, and industrial land sales decreased by 12.6% from 135 to 118 sales.
Multi-family land sales also dropped by 17.4% from 23 sales to 19 sales. Such sites are qualified as properties for nursing homes, high rises, low rises, and any condominium or townhome property with four or more units with at least one zoned for commercial use.
However, office and retail spaces faired far better, with a relatively slight decrease of 4.2% from 239 sales to 229 sales.
Despite the significant overall drop in the number of commercial real estate sales, the total combined value of the deals only fell by 0.9% — from $3.938 billion in the third quarter of 2017 to $3.903 billion in the third quarter of 2018. Property values across all commercial real estate categories continue to rise disproportionately, despite the falling demand.
The vast majority of the sale activity in this year’s third quarter was from land ($2.356 billion) and office and retail ($1.377 billion).
According to Colliers International’s data, downtown Vancouver’s office vacancy narrowed to 3.9% in the third quarter of 2018 from 4.6% at the start of the year.
And earlier this year, the vacancy for industrial spaces was sitting at less than 2%. In the first quarter of 2018, the region saw a year-over-year 29.1% increase for industrial spaces, making it the largest increase in the world for these type of spaces.