2019 commercial real estate outlook: Positive, packed and pricey

Metro Vancouver commercial market swaggers into new year with rare confluence of low vacancies, high prices and strong development

Commercial agency Devencore notes that vacancy rates for all office classes in downtown Vancouver have fallen to 4.5 per cent, down from 5 per cent a year ago. Class A office vacancy rates are even lower, at 3.9 per cent. At the same time, Class A average gross rents are continuing to climb with rates exceeding $51 per square foot.

“The market is showing no signs of slowing down in terms of rental rates. With various developments underway, but no major new office buildings delivered to the market until 2021, tenants with upcoming leases are competing within a very tight market,” said Jon Bishop, executive vice-president and managing principal of Devencore’s Vancouver office. “We are seeing trends with large space users pre-leasing new AAA-class office space slated to be delivered in 2021 and beyond. In the meantime they are utilizing flexible swing space to hold them over until their new offices are completed.” 

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