British Columbia commercial real estate investment activity and dollar volume achieved record heights in 2017 with the disposition of 230 office, industrial and retail properties valued at $7.5 billion during the record-setting year. The previous record was set in 2016 when 147 deals worth $4.1 billion transacted. Values and deal velocity have risen exponentially in B.C. since 2015, according to Avison Young’s Year-End 2017 B.C. Real Estate Investment Review.
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The reasons behind this massive increase includes large pools of private and institutional capital (both local and foreign), an ongoing shortage of land for development and an extended low-interest-rate environment, but it is the mindset of market participants that ultimately dictates performance, the report notes.
In 2017, more property owners (i.e. potential vendors) than historically seen in this market apparently came to the conclusion that a significant enough peak in terms of pricing had been achieved, which triggered the disposition of more assets and translated into an increase in deal velocity.
From a purchaser’s perspective, the B.C. market’s track record of considerable price appreciation and stability – the B.C. market has not registered a noteworthy downturn in pricing in more than a decade – boosted demand from well-capitalized buyers with the mindset that such assets will continue to increase in value.