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The Suburban Flight and Future of Office Demand

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research article

The article focuses on the trend of housing sales boom in the suburban markets of Metro Vancouver and its implications on the future of demand for downtown office space. Due to forced quarantine, work from home practices and limited access to downtown amenities, many people were drawn to the idea of larger homes in the suburbs. A low cost of borrowing and competitive pricing further aided the decision for many Vancouverites to move to the suburban areas.

  • The City of Surrey saw the highest housing sales growth of 113.7% in June 2020 as compared to May 2020, followed by Fraser Valley / Pitt Meadows (96%) and then Richmond (76%), in comparison Vancouver also saw growth but at a slower rate of 58.7%.
  • Statistics Canada data shows that a total of 87,444 people left Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, between July 2019 and July 2020, up from an average annual outflow of 72,686 in the previous three years.
  • The big question is whether tenants will move to the suburbs to chase talent. It is intriguing what this entails for Office Demand Across Metropolitan Vancouver.

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The Suburban Flight and Future of Office Demand

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Roelof van Dijk

Senior Director, National Research & Analytics | Canada

Toronto Downtown

As Senior Director, Research & Analytics | Canada, Roelof leads the strategy and operation of Colliers Canada Research, delivering market intelligence initiatives that give Colliers and its clients a competitive advantage. He focuses on developing a high-performance national research team that leverages Colliers’ best-in-class market intelligence to produce relevant insights on local and national market and industry trends that inform client decisions, address market needs and support Colliers’ growth strategies.

Roelof has 15 years of experience covering the Canadian commercial real estate market. Prior to his career in commercial real estate, he also worked as a project manager and urban planning consultant for residential developers across the Greater Toronto Area.

Roelof is regularly cited in national publications, such as The Globe & Mail, CBC News, Bloomberg, Reuters, Maclean’s Magazine and the National Post, as well as in local outlets across Canada.

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