No Let-up in Metro Development as Major Land Deals Surge

Land Deals

Metro Vancouver has seen a surge in the completion of large-scale land purchases by developers over the past six months, according to Colliers International’s Metro Vancouver LandShare Spring Report released June 19.

The authors reported, “Notable developers have been quick to pull the trigger on opportunities in markets where recently introduced community plans have facilitated density increases. In the West End, the acquisition of the 1400 Block of Alberni by Wall Financial was spurred by the added value that was created through the approval of the West End Official Community Plan. In addition, there have been more opportunities to purchase substantial projects in suburban areas fuelled by government and institutional owners capitalizing on strong market conditions.”

The report said that Standard Life sold 12.5 acres surrounding Gilmore Station, while the BC government sold 88 acres at Burke Mountain in Coquitlam, 40 acres at the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way in Burnaby and 15 acres in the Panorama neighbourhood of Surrey.

The authors added: “Areas that were expected to crest such as Metrotown and the Westside of Vancouver have continued their upward pricing trend. A mixture of private equity and foreign investments have led the purchasing, with institutional developers taking a backseat and waiting for prime assets of scale.”

The report says that major transactions have dominated the marketplace, with lower transaction volumes than previous years being offset by higher average deal values.

It stated, “Fewer land transactions took place in 2013 than the past several years. The year closed with 330 transactions compared to 553 in 2012. Total sales volume also decreased from $1.70 million to $1.47 million. However, sites traded at a higher average value than previous years. Despite low overall volumes, high-density site transactions far exceeded 2012 sales as land owners began to cash out.”

Download the full report from here (free registration required).