Photo: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

The commercial real estate market is booming in BC’s Lower Mainland, as total sales in 2016 soared 29.7 per cent above the region’s five-year sales average, according to new data  published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) on Monday.

“We saw steady activity across the commercial real estate market in 2016,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president. “It’s no surprise that land sales had the largest increase last year given the supply shortages we’re experiencing in our residential and commercial markets today,” he adds.

Data in the release was collected from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the REBGV.

The Lower Mainland saw a total of 2,848 commercial real estate sales last year, a 21 per cent increase compared to 2015’s 2,353 sales.

Last year, the total dollar value of commercial real estate sales also increased, climbing to $12.990 billion, up 47.4 per cent compared to 2015’s $8.815 billion total.

When the Lower Mainland’s commercial market activity is broken down into types of land sales, the vacant land and retail categories saw record numbers last year, according to the data. The vacant land category includes holding properties, farmland and redevelopment sites, among others. Properties that fall under the retail group include offices, shopping centres, community centres and others.

In 2016, there were 1,177 commercial land sales in the region, a 41 per cent increase from the 835 land sales in 2015. The dollar value of last year’s land sales measured $7.202 billion, up 81.3 per cent over the $3.973 billion of transactions seen in 2015.

Office and retail sales in the region saw a record 918 sales in 2016, up 12.8 per cent from the 814 sales in 2015. Last year’s dollar value of office and retail sales was $3.621 billion, a 46.9 per cent increase compared to 2015’s $2.466 billion total.

The Lower Mainland saw 612 industrial land sales last year, up 9.9 per cent over the 557 sales in 2015. The dollar value of industrial sales in 2016 was $1.067 billion, a 3.4 per cent uptick over $1.032 billion in 2015.

Multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland saw a decline with 141 sales last year, a 4.1 per cent drop compared to 147 sales in 2015. Last year, the dollar value of multi-family sales was $1.100 billion, a 18.2 per cent drop from $1.345 billion in 2015.

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