B.C. and Alberta: Q2’s Tale of Two Markets

August 28, 2017 2:05 pm

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The second quarter of 2017 further emphasized the diverging trends between the British Columbian and Albertan commercial real estate markets. With Vancouver realizing supply constraints across both office and industrial assets through low vacancy rates, the major Albertan markets, Calgary and Edmonton, continue to struggle with the lagging energy market, which is reflected in increased vacancy rates and limited demand.

The major real estate markets in British Columbia and Alberta combine for a total of approximately 655 million square feet of office and industrial inventory. Of this total inventory, industrial space represents approximately 75 per cent (around 483 million square feet) with the remaining 25 per cent being office space (around 162 million square feet).

In the context of the entire Canadian office and industrial inventory (approximately 2.5 billion square feet), around 26 per cent is comprised of the combined inventory of the three major Western Canadian markets. If the industrial component of the combined inventory of the three major Western Canadian markets is compared to the national industrial inventory for Canada as a whole (about 1.9 billion square feet), the major Western Canadian markets comprise roughly 26 per cent of the national total. With respect to the office inventory figures of the major Western Canadian markets, they combine to represent nearly 29 per cent of the national inventory of around 565 million square feet of office space.

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