Greater Vancouver Area Industrial Vacancy Rate expected to drop below 1% in 2021

Greater Vancouver Area Industrial Vacancy Rate expected to drop below 1% in 2021

  • British Columbia
  • Business
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Real Estate
March 9, 2021

Vancouver’s real estate market is always in high demand and residential vacancy rate makes the headline on a weekly basis. However, the industrial vacancy rate is even worse. Delta, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, and Surrey all have an industrial vacancy rate below 1%. CBRE expects the industrial vacancy rate to fall below 1% for the entire region.

2020 Industrial Lease Transaction according to CBRE:

  • Warehousing and Distribution 34%
  • Food and Beverage 23%
  • E-commerce 12%
  • Film related 11%
  • Manufacturing and distribution: 11%
  • 3rd part logistic 9%

“Surrey is the largest industrial market in the Lower Mainland and seen as a safety net for supply over the past decade,” CBRE noted, adding “But this is no longer the case as the Fraser Valley now has a lower overall vacancy rate than Vancouver, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities.”

According to CBRE’s statistic, Vancouver’s industrial market is dominated by large retailer and e-commerce sector. Given Vancouver’s geographic location and major online retailers planning to move into the city, the demand is expected to keep rising. Sobeys built an 530,500 sqft food distribution centre last year and Walmart will finish its 296,000 sqft fulfillment centre in Surrey this year.

The demand for industrial space in Vancouver is larger than supply which will drive industrial rate higher. The problem with industrial vacancy is overshadowed by the residential market and there are no plans to allocate more land for industrial use. The latest official community plans for neighborhoods in different municipalities are targeted to add more residential unit with very little industrial zoning. In fact, industrial zoning is being converted to residential zoning in high density area.

Sustainable growth requires a proper allocation of land for different usage and lack of the industrial space could lead to less job opportunity, restricted economics growth, raise in cost for business and consumers. We need to focus more on the commercial side of real estate because it will have greater impact then anyone could expect.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.