As the Lower Mainland housing market continues to cool under new regulations initiated by the province for the greater Vancouver housing market, the commercial market has stepped us as property sales take off.
According to a story in the Globe and Mail this morning, as the residential market is cooling, commercial property sales have skyrocketed, in some cases threatening small businesses that are tenants in some of the properties sold.
The Re/Max Commercial Investor Report says there was a 94 per cent increase in the total dollar value of Lower Mainland sales in the first half of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015, to $7.1 billion from $3.7 billion.
The number of commercial property sales in the first half of 2016 was 1,464, compared with 1,138 to the same period last year.
And according to the Globe, it has been the foreign buyers’ tax on residential properties that is driving commercial sales and values, which is seen as about an even mix, between local and foreign buyers.
But what’s creating concern is the number of properties being bought by speculators, some of which are remaining empty for months or even years, not unlike residential properties that were being gobbled up and left vacant by the same speculators before the foreign buyers’ tax was initiated.