Canadian Real Estate Wealth
In its latest set of data releases, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver revealed that sales volume in the city suffered a massive decrease of nearly 40 per cent year-over-year in December (22 per cent month-over-month).
This accompanied similar drops in home listings compared to November 2016 numbers, with the total number of properties available in the Vancouver housing market declining by 24 per cent, down to 6,345. New listings fell by approximately 58 per cent month-over-month.
“The supply of homes for sale couldn’t keep up with the demand for much of 2016,” Board president Dan Morrison told CBC News. “The inventory is not there.”
However, the benchmark price of all residential housing types decreased only by 2.2 per cent over the past half-year. As of December, overall prices remained around 18 per cent higher compared to the same time last year.
“There is no question, in the last six months, prices have come off two or three per cent,” Morrison said. “But compared to a year ago, prices are still higher.”
A possible contributing factor is that not many Vancouverites are tempted to sell in the current economic climate.
“Vancouver is not a factory town. People are buying for the long term,” Morrison stated.
Despite these trends, accurately predicting the trajectory of the market will take some time as Vancouver is still getting used to measures such as the 15 per cent foreign buyers’ tax and the recent revisions to federal mortgage rules.
“The long-term effect of these actions won’t be fully understood for some time,” Morrison concluded. “Best guess is another two to three months to work things out.”
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