Land Sales Lead Commercial Real Estate Activity in the First Half of 2014

(September 26, 2014 )

An increase in the number of land sales in the Lower Mainland helped nudge commercial real estate sales for the first half of the year above 2013 totals, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Over the first two quarters of 2014, there were 887 commercial real estate sales in the region, a 4.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2013.

“The sale of vacant land has led the Lower Mainland’s commercial real estate market this year, while office, retail and industrial activity have not been as active as we saw last year,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said.

In the second quarter (Q2) of 2014, the total dollar value of commercial sales in the region was $1.1 billion, a 15.1 per cent decline from Q2 2013. This is the lowest quarterly dollar value for the region since the first quarter of 2013.

There were 429 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2014, according to Commercial Edge. This is a 7.3 per cent decline compared to the 463 sales recorded in Q2 2013, a 20.6 per cent decline from the 540 sales recorded in Q2 2012, and a 15.7 per cent decline from the 509 sales recorded over the same period in 2011.

Q2 2014 activity by category

Land: There were 157 land sales registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2014, up 15.4 per cent from the 136 land sales in Q2 2013. The dollar value of land sales in Q2 2014 was $546 million, up four per cent from $525 million in Q2 2013.

Office and Retail: There were 146 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2014, a 10.4 per cent decline from the 163 office and retail sales in Q2 2013. The dollar value of office and retail sales in Q2 2014 was $287 million, a 23.3 per cent decline from $374 million in Q2 2013.

Industrial: There were 100 industrial sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2014, which is down 27.5 per cent from the 138 industrial land sales in Q2 2013. The dollar value of industrial sales in Q2 2014 was $121 million, a 37.6 per cent decline from $194 million in Q2 2013.

Multi-Family: There were 26 multi-family sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2014, which is unchanged from Q2 2013. The dollar value of multi-family sales in Q2 2013 was $146 million, a 28.4 per cent decline from the $204 million in Q2 2013.