Fall around the corner, what a crazy year so far..

(September 21, 2016)

What an incredible year we have had in Vancouver's Real Estate Market! With the summer to fall market transition and since the introduction of the new 15% Foreign Buyer Tax, there was a decline of 26% in sales recorded this August compared to August of 2015. This is also a 22.8% decline compared to last month's sales. For the second straight month, home buyer demand in Metro Vancouver moved off of the record-breaking pace seen earlier this year and returned to more typical levels. However, don't be fooled, I am only speaking about sale's activity, not prices... 

Hot Markets, Bubbles, Price Increases, Multiple Offers, Assignments, Double-Enders, New Tax Laws, P.T.T. increases for luxury real estate, Vacant home tax and many other significant trending items have all been a topic of interest for Vancouver's real estate. The media has brought much information, and may I say criticism, leaving us with several questions, mainly with "What is going to happen next?"

From the eyes of a real estate professional, I am confident to express to you my observations and some knowledge based on my experiences with this markets. To keep this newsletter short, at this time I am only going to be discussing Vancouver's downtown condo sector. My associates and I are usually on the "go," meaning we are driving 50% of the time in our working schedules. Yes, multi-tasking at its finest! I must say I have mastered to drive, negotiate, interact, conference, and at most times keep "calm." Having an exposure to the outside world while watching the dynamics grow in our 'tiny' city has been quite fascinating, and for the first time in my life, I have experienced  much population growth in our city. A magnitude of people have ventured into Vancouver during the summer.  We all expected this to be a short term exposure to the tourism industry, however today it still continues. What is happening here? Vancouver is growing, rapidly, and I mean exponentially. Beyond means of housing, infrastructure and transit. Traffic has become horrific, and will worsen with the expansion of developments and the removal of main road ways, such as the Georgia Viaduct.

Vancouver's building and development race has been at an all time rise. There will soon be a time where the city will have very little exposed and available land. As a professional with sales and revenue consisting mainly of down town condos, I am sure to tell you that market prices will only keep getting higher. If you are thinking of "when the good time to buy is," it is now! The demand for greater square-footage is at a rise, and from a conservative perspective, consecutive sales are showing resale price points in the following figures:
  • City view apartments starting @ $1,100 /SqFt
  • Water view apartment starting @ $1,500 /Sqft
  • Luxury water front apartments starting @ $2,300 /SqFt.
Below is a recent snap shot of the Westside market depicting current activity in sales for Coal Harbour, Yaletown, West End and Down Town:


Vancouver is still inexpensive to the foreign world, and I hate to say it! Geographically, Economically and most importantly, liberally, look at what Vancouver has to offer. If you take this city for granted, your luck is about to change. London, Pairs, New York, San Francisco, L.A, Rio and Miami are all comparable to the direction of where I believe Vancouver's market pricing is headed. We all need to understand that our city has become a global bull's eye, the attraction for foreign investors is way to great. 
Market Notes
  • New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totaled 4,293 in August 2016. This represents an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the 4,281 units listed in August 2015 and an 18.1 per cent decrease compared to July 2016 when 5,241 properties were listed.
  • The sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2016 is 29.3 per cent. This is indicative of a seller’s market.
  • In aggregate, we continue to see an imbalance between supply and demand in most communities. However, we’re also seeing fewer detached sales in the highest price points and fewer detached home sales relative to all residential sales.
  • This is causing average sale prices to show a decline in recent months, while benchmark home prices remain virtually unchanged from July.
  • Sales of apartment properties reached 1,343 in August 2016, a decrease of 10.1 per cent compared to the 1,494 sales in August 2015.
  • The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 26.9 per cent from August 2015 to $514,300. This represents a 6.1 per cent increase over the last three months.
  • Attached property sales in August 2016 totaled 431, a decrease of 25.4 per cent compared to the 578 sales in August 2015.
  • The benchmark price of an attached home increased 31.1 per cent from August 2015 to $677,600. This represents a 7.1 per cent increase over the last three months.