The BC Apartment Blocks Team provides the latest reports on what is happening in the BC Lower Mainland real estate market.
Tax increases have not slowed down the multi-family market.
We are pleased to bring you the latest market report outlining what has happened over another outstanding year and what we predict to come around the corner. Many official community plans in last year’s report made significant progress or were approved by Council. Millennials’ continued struggle with an expensive market and vocalization of the need for affordable housing collides with baby boomers’ resistance to new development within their communities. We saw the implementation of the Foreign Buyers’ Tax in an attempt to cool an erupting housing market and we are starting to see the ramifications of those measures. Rents continue to increase so rapidly that many landlords are unaware of how much they can charge for their units. Then we have land prices soaring as 90% of pre-sales for upcoming Greater Vancouver developments in the next five years have been sold.
Vacancy rates continue to be low
The rental market remains tight in 2016, with the vacancy rate for purpose-built apartments declining to 0.7 per cent from 0.8 per cent last year, in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Vacancy rates for submarkets within the CMA are generally low, but vary from a high of 1.7 per cent in the Tri-Cities to 0.0 per cent in the University Endowment Lands. Persistently low vacancy rates can be attributed to rising demand for rental units keeping pace with increasing supply.
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With over 22 apartment buildings sold for over $100,000,000 - sold in the last 5 months by NAI Commercial Multi-Family Team - "... an excellent knowledge of real estate and understand the best options and future of multi-family real estate."
Royal Oak, Burnaby
Subora Living is a new, four-storey, low-rise condominium development by Kirpal Developments. The residences are situated within 500 meters of the Royal Oak SkyTrain Station and walking distance to Metrotown Shopping Centre.
6857-6875 Royal Oak Ave.
Alder Homes has submitted a development application to develop a four-storey, mixed-use condominium on three parcels.
Metric Living is a new four-storey, condominium project by Conecon. Previously proposed in 2008 the project was revised under the newer official community plan to build 45 units. The site is currently under construction.
Enclosed in this report are all of NAI's multi-family
and land development sales of 2015. Please note
we do not include strata, co-operative, or mixed-use properties in this data. We have included the regional highlights, general market issues,
development news and our 'Best Bets for 2016'.
Also featured is a current listings page with details on all investment properties listed for sale with the NAI Multi-Family Team. Lastly, we are pleased to announce the latest improvements to our website.
Each year the trend has been upward with more sales occurring year after year since 2012. This trend has made a dramatic jump in 2014 with 101 sales occurring in the Lower Mainland.
We are seeing sales activity remaining very strong with few buildings staying on the market for more than three months. Even the overpriced listings are getting offers, which for whatever reasons are not being accepted by the owners. This 8.8% jump in 2014 in overall sales is not likely to increase for 2015.
Discussions with lenders have indicated they have also had a busy year with new purchases but mostly on the refinancing side. These discussions have indicated that they feel that most sellers will likely hold for 2015. This is due to the fact that if an owner has refinanced, he is unlikely to sell, as that is usually a longer term plan. Costs to refinance are hard to get back upon selling. When arranging to place long term financing, it involves organizing cash flow & asset stability usually for the term of the mortgage.
There has been heavy demand for all types of buildings listed in 2014, with most emphasis in the areas of Vancouver and Burnaby, although New Westminster had a record 9 sales transactions. We see cap rates at unheard of levels, which when examined closely, most are in the 4% range and dropping the farther west you look to slightly over the 3% range for prime West side.
Overall the 2013 market has been stronger than in 2012. Even though the perception is things have slowed down, we find sales activity remains strong. Generally, activity is driven by local investors, but we see for the second year running a marked interest by Mainland Chinese investors.
The tertiary markets were dominated by a couple of larger buyers who are gentrifying some of the areas such as New Westminster. Most of the activity is still focused in Metro Vancouver. With only 14% of the sales taking place in the Fraser Valley.
Some sub-markets in Metro Vancouver experienced modest price declines. We expect to see continued demand in 2014, but limited product coming available. Until we see more confidence in the stock market or higher interest rates, most people will postpone selling until being forced to for some other reason.