Commercial property sales in the Lower Mainland saw a decline in 2019: REBGV

Apr 1 2020, 1:11 pm

The value and volume of commercial property sales in the Lower Mainland were already trending downward in 2019, before the pandemic.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver today released the full year of data for 2019, showing there were 1,538 commercial real estate sales in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley — down by 32.8% from the 2,288 sales in 2018, and a 41.5% drop compared to 2,628 sales in 2017.

The total dollar value of the transactions last year totalled $6.859 billion, representing a 56.7% drop from $15.833 billion in 2018.

Here is a breakdown for 2019 across the Lower Mainland:

  • Vacant land
    • Number of land sales: 400 (-54.1% compared to 871 in 2018)
    • Dollar value: $3.235 billion (-61.5% compared to $8.4 billion in 2018)
  • Office and retail
    • Number of land sales: 624 (-24% compared to 821 in 2018)
    • Dollar value: $1.598 billion (-65.8% compared to $4.667 billion in 2018)
  • Industrial
    • Number of land sales: 463 (-6.1% compared to 493 in 2018)
    • Dollar value: $1.365 billion (-6.9% compared to $1.467 billion in 2018)
  • Multi-family
    • Number of land sales: 51 (-50.5% compared to 103 in 2018)
    • Dollar value: $661 million (-48.9% compared to $1.292 billion in 2018)

Unsurprisingly, vacant land sales have been surging in Surrey, Langley, and Burnaby, while Vancouver is still clearly at the top for office and retail activity.

Here is a breakdown for 2019 for key markets in each type:

  • Vacant land
    • Vancouver: 65 sales worth $726 million
    • Surrey: 122 sales worth $846 million
    • Langley: 52 sales worth $286 million
    • Coquitlam: 21 sales worth $203 million
    • Burnaby: 19 sales worth $430 million
    • Richmond: 16 sales worth $161 million
    • Abbotsford: 20 sales worth $100 million
    • Chilliwack: 17 sales worth $20 million
  • Office and retail
    • Vancouver: 153 sales worth $458 million
    • Surrey: 117 sales worth $206 million
    • Langley: 36 sales worth $87 million
    • Burnaby: 57 sales worth $278 million
    • Richmond: 86 sales worth $181 million
    • Abbotsford: 43 sales worth $68 million
    • Chilliwack: 21 sales worth $119 million
  • Industrial
    • Vancouver: 23 sales worth $72.5 million
    • Surrey: 125 sales worth $340 million
    • Delta: 69 sales worth $89 million
    • Langley: 21 sales worth $84 million
    • Burnaby: 35 sales worth $68.5 million
    • Richmond: 98 sales worth $390 million
    • Abbotsford: 36 sales worth $63 million
    • Chilliwack: 13 sales worth $26 million
  • Multi-family
    • Vancouver: 20 sales worth $158 million
    • Surrey: 4 sales worth $152 million
    • Langley: 2 sales worth $76 million
    • Burnaby: 5 sales worth $110 million
    • New Westminster: 9 sales worth $90 million

“Activity in the commercial market slowed in 2019 due in large part to reduced activity across our provincial economy last year,” said Ashley Smith, REBGV president, in a statement.

“We experienced a pickup in home buyer activity in the residential real estate market to start this year, but we’ll have to wait and see how demand for commercial real estate will be impacted by the economic difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing.”