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Vancouver leads nation in office completions, lowest vacancy rate

Nine of the 12 new office towers in Canada opened in Vancouver in Q4 2022 and 28 other projects are under construction across the Metro region
The 36-storey Stack tower in downtown Vancouver was the largest new office development in Canada in Q4 2022. | Oxford Properties

Vancouver is leading the nation in new office development with nine of the 12 latest completions in Canada seen in the city and 4.8 million square feet under construction across the region, nearly 45 per cent of which is already pre-leased.

Vancouver delivered 540,000 square feet of new space at the end of last year, with the opening of Oxford Properties’ Stack tower at 111 Melville Street. As a comparison, Toronto saw two office buildings complete in the fourth quarter (Q4 2022), totalling 85,000 square feet, according to Altus Group. To round out the trio of largest cities, a single 335,000-square-foot building was added to Montreal’s office market and had an availability rate of 28.7 per cent.

Vancouver and Toronto were tied for the most office projects under construction in the fourth quarter of 2022 with each market registering 28 developments.

Current office developments in the Metro Vancouver market comprise slightly more than 4.8 million square feet under construction with an availability rate of 45.3 per cent, while new developments in Greater Toronto total slightly more than six million square feet and have an availability rate of 44.2 per cent.

In Alberta, a single 26,000-square-foot office building was under construction in Edmonton in Q4 2022 with an availability rate of 63.2 per cent while two office projects are underway in Calgary, which will add 129,472 square feet when completed and have a combined availability rate of 82.7 per cent, Altus reported.

Even with nation-leading office completions, Vancouver is posting the lowest vacancy rates in the country, according to Altus, at 10.4 per cent as of Q4 2022. This compares to 16.5 per cent in Toronto, 17.2 per cent in Montreal, and a national vacancy rate of 16.5 per cent.