Avison Young
Credit: Avison Young

A map of Fraser Valley industrial projects scheduled for completion by mid-2019 

Low rents make the region competitive within Metro Vancouver

Industrial land sales in the Fraser Valley hit record sales of $465 million in 2017, according to a report by Toronto-based commercial real estate firm Avison Young, surpassing the previous high of $396 million in 2015.

Although the Fraser Valley only saw 244 deals in 2017—less than the 258 transactions for the previous year—and a lack of new supply still dulls the market, demand remains as strong as ever.

Industrial sales in the area showed no signs of slowing, either. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, such deals were valued at $131 million (47 transactions).

Vacancy remained at record lows in Q1, with Surrey (1 percent), Langley (1.5 percent) and Abbotsford (1.8 percent) ranking among the lowest in Metro Vancouver (1.8 percent).

Despite “significant rental rate appreciation in the past 24 months,” Avison Young said, average rates in Surrey ($9.11 a square foot), Langley ($9.67) and Abbotsford ($9.17) were less than for Metro Vancouver as a whole ($10.91) in the first quarter.

Low vacancy and rental rates have attracted industrial owner-occupiers looking for expand their footprint for less, especially when industrial land costs and rents keep rising across Metro Vancouver.