As confidence in returning to in-person activities grew through late 2021 and accelerated into 2022, so did traffic to retail stores and the demand for retailers to reopen or open new ones. As a result, both urban and suburban retail market locations are experiencing extreme lows in vacancy.
- The average Urban Retail vacancy rate is estimated at 2.5%. A higher rate of vacancies can be found in the Central Business District (CBD), due to slow and inconsistent return to office policies and an absence of business conferences, although this is changing at a rapid pace. Gastown and Chinatown were also affected as a result of limited foot traffic and lack of tourism.
- The average Suburban Retail vacancy rate is 2.3%. Tenants looking to locate in suburban areas are having challenges finding options. As a result, the focus of demand is shifting to projects yet to be constructed.
- Most new retail development, both in the urban and suburban markets, is taking the form of mixed-use projects. Developers in the Greater Vancouver market continue to need to be creative in order to make sense of the land prices.