Record-breaking apartment transactions drive overall Q1 Vancouver CRE investments

According to a recent Altus Group ‘Insights’ blog post, commercial real estate investments in the Vancouver market area saw an active first quarter in 2021. In total, $2.7 billion was transacted in Q1 2021, marking a 15% increase from Q1 of 2020. The total of 475 transactions also represented the highest amount seen since Q4 of 2018. Strong activity was driven in part by an all-time high in apartment sales. As seen in several major transactions, there is growing interest in the Vancouver market from institutional type buyers, making key acquisitions in this sector during Q1 2021. This quarter represents the final opportunity for comparison against a pre–pandemic market, and Q1 2021 numbers indicate the Vancouver market to be healthy, active and back to pre–pandemic levels.  

Vancouver Highlights:

  • In total, $2.7 billion was transacted in Q1 2021, marking a 15% increase from Q1 of 2020. The total of 475 transactions also represented the highest amount seen since Q4 of 2018.
  • A record total of $738 million was invested in apartment assets in Q1 2021, representing a 73% increase from Q1 2020 and the highest performing quarter of multi-family investment in the Vancouver market area since Altus Group started tracking transaction data in 1999.
    • Approximately 40% of this overall number can be attributed to a single portfolio transaction, a total of 614 units across 15 buildings, which sold for a reported price of $292.5 million.
  • The industrial sector also continued its momentum into Q1 2021, as availability rates on the leasing side have trended towards record lows in the area. Investors and owner/users alike contributed a total invested amount of $649 million in the industrial sector, representing a 12% increase from Q1 2021.
  • Retail also saw continued strong performance in Q1 2021, with $386 million in total investment volume, representing a 40% increase from the previous quarter and a 79% increase from Q1 of 2020.
  • While office transaction volume among other markets stalled this quarter, investment in Vancouver saw an increase of 86% from Q1 2020 with a total of $243 million invested.
  • Residential land saw a 43% decrease compared to Q1 of 2020, with a total of $271 million in volume. This marks the eleventh straight quarter of year-over-year declines and can be attributed to a lack of product and a slow approach amongst developers.

Read the full Altus Group blog post here.

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