Private buyers and financial firms are motivated to buy because borrowing costs are very low and rents are expected to increase sharply in the next five to 10 years.

The number and dollar value of residential apartment buildings sold in B.C. during the first half of 2021 wiped out records, according to a recent Avison Young investment report. “It caught us a little bit off-guard. I knew it was going to be a really strong year at the beginning of the year,” said Rob Greer, principal at Avison Young Commercial Real Estate. “But I definitely underestimated the amount of capital that was going to flow into our market here in B.C.” In the first six months of 2021, there were 78 sales valued at more than $1.9 billion. The previous record set in 2018 was 85 sales valued at $1.51 billion, but for the entire year. The last half-year record was in 2015 when there were 54 sales valued at $1.04 billion. The sales of multi-family properties in the first half of 2021 almost exceeded the entire annual B.C. investment total for all industrial, retail and office assets sold in 2014, which was $1.95 billion.

“In this inflationary environment that we’re currently in, we are anticipating rents to start moving up very quickly.”  Buyers, he said, are also assessing the risk compared to buying other assets.“Investing in rental apartments in B.C. is probably one of the lowest risk profiles of any asset class right now.”

Read the full article from Joanne Lee-Young Nov 2021.

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