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Market Report

Vancouver Retail Market Report

3Q 2022

Recovery in Tourism Boosts Consumer Demand,
with Momentum Continuing in the Second Half

The return of tourism lifts retail demand. The metro's retail sector weathered the pandemic and proved to be resilient compared to other major markets in Canada. Due to lower case counts than Ontario and Québec, Vancouver experienced fewer COVID-related restrictions, resulting in less contraction in the metro's retail sales throughout the pandemic. The retail sector recovery in the first half of 2022 was largely driven by the long-awaited return of tourism. As of June, air traffic from the U.S. and Europe had increased by 1,800 and 1,200 per cent year-over-year, respectively. Additionally, the metro saw its first cruise ship in April 2022, nearly 900 days after the start of the pandemic, bringing thousands of more consumers on a weekly basis. The return in tourism is reviving retail activity in places like Gastown and Granville Island. On the supply side, the metro remains the tightest retail market among major markets in Canada. Construction is picking up, but still falls far short of pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, most new developments are fully pre-leased prior to delivery. The strong demand, paired with extremely tight availability, will continue to make the metro a top-performing retail market in Canada.
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