B.C.’s biggest commercial property managers begin pandemic recovery

Portfolios grew an average of 3.6%

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The pandemic year was difficult for British Columbia’s top commercial property managers as the amount of real estate they managed dropped below 2017 levels after falling 5.2% in 2020 to 5.5 million square feet.

However, the industry was able to recover in 2021. B.C.’s top property managers increased their average management portfolios by 3.6% to 5.7 million square feet, pushing them back above 2017 levels, though the industry has yet to return to its 2018 high.

The recovery was largely fuelled by Warrington PCI Management’s surge in growth. The company, ranked No. 1 on BIV’s list of B.C.’s biggest commercial property managers (https://biv.com/lists), increased its portfolio 108.3% to 16 million square feet in 2021 from 7.7 million in 2020.

The median size of the property managers’ portfolios fell 2.65%, suggesting that Warrington’s growth among the companies on BIV’s list was an outlier.

Over the past five years, B.C.’s largest commercial property managers have been shifting more of their portfolios to office and away from retail and industrial space. Their average office holdings expanded 13.2% while their average industrial and retail holdings decreased 6% and 5.7%, respectively. Overall, this resulted in a 0.61% increase in their total average holdings over the past five years.

– Albert Van Santvoort