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Vancouver Commercial Real Estate Update by Monster CRE Monitor

Monster CRE Monitor ©

Monster CRE Monitor © is a regular feature focused on local and regional commercial real estate across North America prepared by Monster Commercial: Knowledge for owners, tenants and investors.

Vancouver CRE Update

Vancouver is an urban centre that finds itself in the right place – at the right time.

Ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, well known for its remarkable natural beauty and mild climate Vancouver is also demonstrating a steadfast commitment to maintaining a productive and receptive real estate environment.

As a result, Vancouver represents a significant opportunity for commercial real estate stakeholders – whether they be tenants, buyers or sellers.

Sustained growth and pro-active government support have combined to create a real estate environment that remains very strong in terms of long-term security and energy.

Growth and investment in Vancouver and nearby communities like Victoria, Burnaby, Nanaimo and Abbotsford is forecasted to remain very robust. [The current population is over 603,502, an increase of almost 6% over the past 12 years now making it the 10th most populous city in Canada with 16,000 citizens per square km.]

Vancouver is also a “gateway” for many new Canadians attracting an upwardly mobile and creative workforce.

The city embraces multi-culturalism in every sense of the word – with close connections with Asia and ties to over 80 other nations. Vancouver is also a highly desirable location for the new generation of “millennials” and as such this bodes well for real estate markets.

Over the past decades these factors have made Vancouver the preeminent choice for many professionals and international companies. This cultural and business sustainability is clearly demonstrated in CRE markets and the city has played an pivotal role in the Canada’s growing “globalized” CRE marketplace.

Adding to these benefits is the fact that over 100,000 international students are drawn to Vancouver’s exceptional post-secondary educational and wide range of career opportunities.

Much like Toronto, asking prices, for both commercial and residential real estate have always been somewhat higher than most other Canadian cities.

The CRE drivers include the west coasts;

  • Resilient and balanced local economy.
  • Well-maintained infrastructure.
  • High levels of employment and a robust business environment that is actively supported by the provincial and federal  government.
    • Economic diversity that includes mining, financial enterprises, arts and entertainment and much more.

Traditionally these factors have acted in combination to create an extremely attractive market that has thrived over the long term. [At present economic indicators suggest that the 5% to 6% growth rate for Vancouver is sustainable and this stable, resilient economic base bodes well for CRE stakeholders.]

Over the past 10 or 12 years some market trends have shown the potential to impact prices in some circumstances. Knowledgeable players in CRE markets have suggested that offshore cash in the form of foreign investors and speculators is a trend that can affect markets on occasion.

However changes in technology and demographics are much more likely to affect CRE markets. These fundamental changes in the way we live, work and invest are here to stay – not just in Vancouver or in B.C. but coast to coast.

CRE markets in general are affected by the ever-growing complexities that encompasses more and more layers of bureaucracy, complex building codes and what appears to be an endless maze of time-consuming compliance requirements that many feel are hindering growth and progress.

Not to mention the fact that the population is getting older – quickly. As the population ages, instead of investing in stocks, pension funds and real estate these citizens are beginning to take their assets out of circulation.

It’s not just demographics that are having an impact – dramatic changes in the way we work are also affecting how we purchase and lease buildings and “downsizing” are part of these trends; partly as a result of technology, the average worker or retailer for that matter needs less space. They are learning to do more – with less and this change, according to industry observers – is here to stay.

Besides being highly rated as a world-class “livable” urban environment, B.C. taxes and hydro rates have always been advantageous for CRE. With all these factors working in Vancouver’s favor it’s no wonder the city is viewed as the number one choice of millennials – and real estate investors.

Vancouver Keeps Moving Forward

In addition to Gastown and many other examples of classic Canadian construction and architectural expertise Vancouver keeps moving forward and remains as it always has been – a hot spot for commercial real estate.

Monster CRE Monitor © is a new regular feature focused on regional commercial real estate markets prepared by Monster Commercial: Knowledge for owners, tenants and investors.

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