Led by land sales, commercial real estate transactions during a three-month period in 2021 hit $3.25 billion as third-quarter (Q3) sales surged 64.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier, according to the Commercial Edge report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
The $1.89 billion in land purchases dominated the action, and land sales continued to roar into the fourth quarter.
In November and December, two of the biggest land deals of 2021 closed in Metro Vancouver: the more-than- $300 million purchase of 27 acres near the Olympic Oval in Richmond, and a $155 million deal for a 14 acres along the Lougheed Highway in Burnaby.
“The strength of land acquisition activity points to new development interest across the region,” said Keith Stewart, REBGV economist..
"Commercial real estate activity recovered steadily in the first three quarters of 2021 against 2020 levels as consumer and business confidence returned from the initial uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic caused,” he added.
There were 640 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, up from the 390 sales in Q3 2020, according to data from Commercial Edge. The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in Q3 2021 increased 30.7 per cent from $2.487 billion in Q3 2020.
Commercial Edge data includes all commercial real estate transactions in the Lower Mainland of B.C. that have been registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. It does not include share-sale transactions as they are not registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority.
Q3 2021 commercial real estate activity by category:
Land: There were 228 commercial land sales in Q3 2021, which is a 137.5 per cent increase from 96 land sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of land sales was $1.839 billion in Q3 2021, a 15.5 per cent increase from $1.592 billion in Q3 2020.
Office and retail: There were 235 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is up 42.4 per cent from 165 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $489 million in Q3 2021, a 41.7 per cent increase from $345 million in Q3 2020.
Industrial: There were 153 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is a 43 per cent increase from 107 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of industrial sales was $544 million in Q3 2021, a 116.7 per cent increase from $251 million in Q3 2020.
Multi-family: There were 24 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is up 9.1 per cent from 22 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $378 million in Q3 2021, a 26.4 per cent increase from $299 million in Q3 2020.