Downtown
Credit: Xicotencatl

The city has the second-lowest downtown office vacancy rate in North America

A recent report by CBRE Group Inc., a global real estate services firm headquartered in Los Angeles with an office in Vancouver, forecasts another record-breaking year for the city’s lease rates.

Last year Vancouver commercial real estate investment volumes hit $11.7 billion, surging 44.9 percent from 2016. Driving that increased activity was unprecedented demand from investors, a trend that experts predict is likely to continue.

“In Vancouver for 2018, we are forecasting record-setting rental rates in office, industrial and luxury retail as demand continues to show no sign of retreat,” Norm Taylor, executive vice-president with CBRE Vancouver, said in a statement. “This will further intensify the appetite of global capital to acquire Vancouver commercial real estate assets.”

The report also calls for Vancouver’s historically low downtown office vacancy rate (5 percent last year) to keep dropping. It’s already the second lowest in North America.

As a result, office vacancy rates in places like Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant and the Fraser Valley will dip to about 8 percent in 2018, CBRE reckons.

On the industrial front, demand in Vancouver is slated to outpace new supply by 12 percent this year. Last fall, BCBusiness contributor Kerry Gold drew attention to the shortage, which threatens to hamstring the local economy. The industrial availability rate is hovering around 2 percent, with asking rents expected to rise by as much as 10 percent.