While the tally of investment sales greater than $1 million in Metro Vancouver has dropped significantly this year, the second quarter saw a greater volume of land deals.
According to the latest figures from Altus Group, residential and non-residential land sales accounted for 56.2 per cent of the $1.6 billion in deals done in the three months ended in June. This was up from 47.9 per cent of a slightly lower volume of sales in the first quarter. Both tallies are below levels of a year ago, when land accounted for 60 per cent of overall transaction value.
Non-residential land sales accounted for the largest slice of transactions in the second quarter, at 28.9 per cent, or $462 million. The top deal was the sale of 10.3 acres in Port Coquitlam for $20.7 million, slightly lower than the regional average of $2.4 million per acre.
The big story of the quarter, however, was the well-documented rise of strata industrial properties, which accounted for 74 of the 98 industrial transactions Altus recorded. Pricing maxed out at $705 per square foot, double the regional average of $350 a square foot.
However, overall transaction volumes in the first half of the year were down. Transaction values in the first six months of the year totalled just short of $3.2 billion, down from $6.9 billion a year earlier – a 53.6 per cent drop.
Property transfer data from the B.C. Ministry of Finance underscores the drop in commercial sales during the first half of 2019.
According to the province, 877 commercial property transfers took place in the first half of 2019, down 12.6 per cent from 1,003 transfers in the first half of 2018. Despite the reported surge in strata industrial sales, overall sales of non-residential strata properties saw an equivalent decline, dropping 12.5 per cent to 525 in the period.
However, overall sales of industrial properties picked up. The tally for the first half of 2019 was 129, up from just 86 a year earlier – a 50 per cent increase.
The regular provincial report doesn’t give a value for the transactions. However, it does note participation by foreign buyers.
This year, participation levels seem to have dropped, with foreign nationals involved in just 12 commercial property transfers in the first half of the year. This compares with 41 transactions involving foreign nationals a year ago.