Industrial vacancy rates plummet in Victoria: report

Like Vancouver, the capital has seen rents reach record highs

Victoria doesn’t get as much attention as Vancouver for rising rents and low vacancies, but when it comes to industrial space, the provincial capital is experiencing a squeeze of its own.

According to a new report from Los Angeles–based real estate services firm CBRE Group, industrial demand in Victoria is far outpacing supply. Real Estate Market Outlook 2019 concludes that land constraints—coupled with competitive market conditions—have put upward pressure on rental rates, sending them to record highs.

Of course, across the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver is dealing with one of world’s worst industrial land crunches. And while help is coming to B.C.’s biggest city in the form of new supply, pent-up demand means those properties are nearly two-thirds pre-leased or sold.

But CBRE indicates that the capital may not be far behind: city officials have noted that 2018 saw the highest number of construction cranes in Victoria’s history.

Also, Toronto-headquartered Colliers International recently found that in the fourth quarter of last year, Victoria’s industrial vacancy rate plunged compared to the same period in 2017, from 2.4 percent to 1.1 percent.

Don’t expect things to get much better in 2019. “Tenants are finding it challenging to secure space and the lack of availability is exerting upward pressure on rents,” Colliers says in its report. “There is no notable new supply in the pipeline, despite existing business parks being virtually at capacity.”