Metro Vancouver is made for commercial real estate

If an urban planner designed an environment for commercial real estate success, Metro Vancouver would fit the bill perfectly.

With a population of around two million big-spenders hemmed in by mountains, oceans, the U.S. border and decades of progressive politics that has frozen thousands of acres out of the market and stalled necessary development, there is nowhere better to make money in real estate.

And the data shows it.

Metro Vancouver has the lowest industrial real estate vacancy in North America and the highest leasing and strata costs in the country. The industrial land base has shrunk close to zero, driving land prices into the stratosphere.

In the multi-family sector, where rental construction is low, demand and rents are the highest in Canada. Sales of existing apartment buildings hit a record $1.6 billion through the first half of this year.

New condo apartments, meanwhile, are pre-selling for $2,000 to $3,000 per square foot at new Vancouver towers at Oakridge and downtown.

Despite the pandemic, confidence in downtown offices is so strong that developers are building giant towers without a single tenant signed on, and the biggest strata office offering sold out two years ago at more than $2,000 per square foot.

The retail sector, which should be suffering in a pandemic, has been buoyed by Metro consumer spending that is rising faster than anywhere else in Canada. Even in the Downtown Eastside, retail sites sell for the equivalent of $10 million an acre and retail strata sells at up to $800 per square foot. When the province bought skid row hotels in the area this spring, it paid up to $327,000 per door.

Yet, while the opportunity to profit from a captive market appears legendary, Metro Vancouver real estate developers must be wily to make it all work.

Read the full article HERE

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