The Vancouver office market picked up following a quiet second quarter, and overall vacancy rates were down slightly over Q2 2016. Positive absorption was strongest in Class A buildings in the third quarter of 2016, though technology and digital media companies continue to show strong interest in older brick and beam buildings in Yaletown and Gastown.
The mining and engineering sectors saw a modest rally late in 2016 that is expected to continue through 2017. Energy and natural resources may also see a boost in 2017 with the recent federal government's conditional approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.
- The office investment market was up 516% in 2016 over the same period last year. This is due largely to the sale of trophy assets such as Bentall Centre, Royal Centre, the Revenue Canada Building and the United Kingdom Building.
- With recent policy changes on investment in residential properties, it is expected that investors will shift towards commercial real estate, with particular focus on strata.
- Sublease availability decreased from 17.3% in Q2 2016 to 15.1% in Q3 2016, and remains an attractive option for the fast-paced technology sector.
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