Vancouver commercial real estate investment outpaces Toronto

Despite a much smaller population, Vancouver has surpassed Toronto in investment activity by more than $1 billion

Western Investor
October 24, 2017

The $961 million sale of Oakridge Centre was the biggest retail deal in Vancouver during a record-setting first half. | Vancouver Courier


Commercial real estate investment in Metro Vancouver – population 2.4 million – have surpassed that of Greater Toronto – population 6.4 million – for the first time.

In the first six months of this year, Vancouver, with a record-setting $7.8 billion in commercial investments, outpaced Toronto, which posted $6.5 billion in similar spending, according to Avison Young.

Vancouver captured a 41 per cent share of the national market in commercial real estate investments, while second-place Toronto made up 34 per cent.

Vancouver commercial investments surged 75 per cent from a year earlier to take the national lead, Avison Young reported.

With the exception of Ottawa (which saw investment activity plunge 57 per cent), the remaining markets studied in the national report – Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal – all recorded increases year-over-year, and each exceeded the $1-billion mark. 

In Vancouver, office investment rose 3 per cent to nearly $2 billion by the midway point of 2017 compared with $1.9 billion in first-half 2016. Retail investment exploded by 285 per cent to almost $3.1 billion from $799 million in the first half of 2016.

Multi-family investment climbed 146 per cent to $1.5 billion from $629 million one year earlier, despite supply remaining highly constrained. Industrial investment also increased, rising 44 per cent to $668 million in the first half of 2017 from the same period in 2016. The value of industrial, commercial and investment land acquisitions dropped 18 per cent year-over-year, to $527 million.

The biggest Vancouver transactions in the first half included the sale of a Cadillac Fairview office portfolio to an Ontario pension group for $1.25 billion, and the sale of the Oakridge Centre shopping mall by Ivanhoe Cambridge to QuadReal Property Group for more than $961 million, Avison Young reported.

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