General Overview:

This article covers the storage market in the area referred to as Greater Vancouver.  The population of Greater Vancouver which includes the Municipalities shown on the map below is estimated at 2.55 million as of 2019.  Population growth in the Metro area has been robust with an annualized growth rate of 2.1 since the 2016 National Census and is projected to reach 3.6 Million by 2040.

Rates:

A survey of most major sub markets in the Metro Vancouver area show rates have at minimum held steady. Rates in the more highly occupied markets such as The City of Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver and New Westminster have increased in Q1.

Occupancies:

Occupancies across Metro Vancouver are relatively high. An examination of Stabilized storage facilities shows occupancies from 75-98% and occupancies at Class “A” facilities range between 84-98%. In comparison to previous data a slight decline in average occupancies in non Class “A” facilities is seen while a slight increase in occupancy is seen in newer Class “A” facilities.

Sales:

Although there have been no sales of self storage facilities in the Metro Vancouver area in Q1 of 2019, we did see the sale of Free way storage late in 2018 and the slo Trans Canada Storage in Abbotsford just outside of the Metro Vancouver boundary closed in January 2019. Both of these sales were record setting from a Cap rate point of view and speaks to a continued downward trend of Cap rates in Metro Vancouver. At present, there are two self storage facilities listed in the Metro area although both appear to be re development opportunities that have current holding income in-place based on the Cap rates listed on the offering documents.

Projects underway:

In metro Vancouver there are numerous self storage projects currently underway. The City of Vancouver has 2 projects currently under construction with a minimum of 3 in final planning stages and at least 4 in some stage of planning. In North Vancouver, Maple Leaf Storage is in the final stages of construction of a facility and one other large facility is currently in the planning stages. At present, there are at least 3 facilities in the planning stages in Surrey with Fox Box storage having opened in late 2018. Richmond has one larger facility near completion with 2 other facilities in the planning stages. Langley has one extremely large facility working its way through the planning stages at present with a few other potential facilities being discussed.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is currently happening in the Metro Market but rather a high level view.

Future Outlook:

At present, occupancies within Metro Vancouver are high and above what would be considered stabilized occupancy in many markets. In addition, rental rates continue to increase across most markets. The population growth in the area is very robust as well as employment and wage numbers continue to be strong. All of this points to a strong storage market in the Quarters to come.

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