The vacancy rate in warehouse and industrial land in Greater Victoria more than doubled this year to 1.6 per cent.
Colliers International, the real estate sales and leasing specialists which compiles the statistics, says even with the increased vacancy rate, the takeup of industrial space has been increasing for 13 straight years.
But the size of the market means just a couple of transactions can make the numbers jump, said managing director Andrew Turner.
“It’s pretty thin. It’s one of the smallest industrial markets we have in Canada,” he says.
The industrial vacancy rate in 2008 was 0.7 per cent. Victoria’s industrial market topped the eight million square-foot mark for the first time–at 8,195,648 square feet to be exact–and it’s usually a tight market.
“When it gets above one [vacancy rate] it’s usually a shock,” says Turner.
Only 129,870 square feet were vacant at the time of Colliers’ 2009 survey.
For the last 12 months, Colliers says a record amount of new space was brought onto the market, but most of that new space has been absorbed.
“As a result, the marketplace is again in an under supplied position with an ongoing demand factor which continues to support the zoning of new industrial sites and the further development of business parks in the region,” Colliers says.
The Western Communities are where most of the new industrial park construction is happening, and the city of Langford has led in the construction of new industrial and warehouse space. Colliers says Goldstream Meadows in Langford, just off the Trans-Canada Highway, has been “transformed into the West Shore’s leading business park” in just a couple of years.
Canpar Freight, Scansa Construction, Steve Drane Harley-Davidson and Johnson Bros. Roofing are among major tenants there. North Douglas-Sysco wholesale food suppliers expects to complete its 180,000-square-foot project in early 2010, the Colliers report notes.
It also suggests that market fundamentals suggest “there is demand beyond this facility that would support another business park located in the West Shore region.”