The Commercial Leading Index (CLI) provides insight on early signals of turning points between expansions and slowdowns in commercial real estate. The BCREA CLI "forecasts changes in broad commercial real estate activity. [Their] research shows that the variables that compose the CLI reliably forecast BC commercial real estate activity at a lag of two to four quarters. The index is revised each quarter, due to revisions in the underlying data".
For the fifth consecutive quarter, the CLI has seen another rise in index points of 0.5 from the 2016 Q4 to 2017 Q1. The index is now 128.0 which is a 4% increase from a year ago and a 0.4% increase on a quarterly basis. The economic activity and employment components of the CLI have been contributing factors to the economic and employment growth in the province and BC has been continually leading all provinces in this type of growth. There are indications of further growth in investment, leasing and other commercial real estate over the next two to four quarters as signaled by the CLI trend.
The increase in the CLI is reflective of the economic growth in BC with its real GDP growth exceeding 3%, which is the second time this has occurred in the past 37 years. This can be attributable to key commercial sectors such as retail and wholesale trade along with the increase in manufacturing sales. As for employment, 2016 ended on a high note with an increase of over 3% in employment which has trickled into 2017.
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Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association