Towering commercial sales best B.C. record

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012


Investors snapped up $1.42 billion worth of B.C. commercial real estate in the first half of this year, shattering a record set in 2010, with unit sales flirting with an all-time record as well.

“With 63 transactions completed in the first six months of 2012 alone, the number of deals that will close this year is also likely to surpass the previous annual record of 99, set in 2010,” reported Avison Young.

Most of the action is in the downtown office sector. Deals included the $401 million acquisition of the Bentall V office tower, $115 million paid for a 50 per cent interest in the office buildings at 401 West Georgia, and 800 Burrard Street.

Other top deals: the $100 million sale of the Plaza at New Westminster Station (a retail centre) and the $81.3 million purchase of the Modalink Distribution Hub industrial portfolio.

“The record level of investment in B.C. commercial real estate during the first half of 2012 is testimony to the stability, strength and desirability of our market,” said Michael Keenan, principal and managing director of Avison Young’s Vancouver office. “We are attractive to all types of investors – private, institutional, public companies and REITs – and activity is limited only by the supply of available product.”

More than $700 million was invested in office buildings in the first half of 2012 compared with $499 million invested in all of 2011. The retail sector saw 30 transactions totalling $498 million in the same six-month period.

The lack of available quality industrial product remains a primary characteristic of the Metro Vancouver commercial real estate market. While an industrial sales dollar volume of $215 million in the first half of 2012 surpassed industrial sales totals in the first and second halves of 2011, the deals made up only 15 per cent of overall sales volume and 26 per cent of transactions.

The multi-family sector saw 18 apartment-building transactions in the first half of 2012 with a total value of $331.5 million compared with 15 transactions valued at $139 million in the second half of 2011 and 20 deals totalling approximately $238 million in the first half of 2011, Avison Young reports.

Western Investor

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