VANCOUVER - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says commercial real estate activity was down substantially last year compared with recent years because of slower economic activity.

The board says there was a total of 1,538 commercial sales in 2019, a 32.8 per cent drop from 2018 and a 41.5 per cent decline from 2017, while the $6.86 billion dollar value of sales in 2019 was down by 56.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Last year's drop in sales marks the third year in a row of declines from a peak of 2,896 sales in 2016, while dollar value sales hit a high of $16.6 billion in 2017.

The board says it's still to early to say what kind of impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on commercial real estate this year.

It says there were 400 commercial land sales in 2019, down 54.1 per cent from 2018, and down 61.5 per cent in the dollar value to $3.24 billion.

Office and retail sales were down 24 per cent to 624 sales, while the dollar value was down 65.8 per cent to $1.6 billion. Industrial land sales were down a relatively small six per cent, while multi-family land sales dropped 50.5 per cent.