Vancouver Office Investment Forecast
Expansionary Firms Mitigate Magnitude of Tenant Losses in Downtown Office Hubs
Bevy of completions adds to available space. Vancouver’s labour market has recovered from its pandemic-related job losses, with an employment tally entering this year 25,000 jobs higher than the prior peak; job gains and an expanding tech ecosystem, however, are only partially alleviating the impacts of the health crisis and corresponding shift to at-home work models. Vacant stock in the GVA exceeded 4 million square feet last year, up more than 40 per cent from the 2019 measure. Over that two-year stretch, roughly 2 million square feet was finalized at a time when many firms shifted to remote work, accelerating upward vacancy movement. The recovery should gain steam this year, but the landscape will be bifurcated. Well-positioned tech firms are often seeking higher-quality spaces, leaving a block of Class B and C space on the market and weighing on asking rents. This trend has been evident in the urban core. Here, Class B vacancy moved above the Class A rate, leading to a drop in the submarket’s average asking rent last year.