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Housing Sales In Vancouver Going Sour

Higher prices, rising rates, new tax announcements, and latest mortgage requirements are all playing important factors towards the plummeting of housing sales in the Metro Vancouver area. As housing sales dipped to the lowest level in the recent years, Metro Vancouver’s new homes have soared in the initial quarter of the year, with stats in Vancouver alone being more than twice as high as the same period in 2017. There were 6,542 home sales on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver during the initial quarter of 2018, which is a decrease of 13.1 percent from the same period last year. This represents the region’s lowest first-quarter sales total since 2013, reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

A Comparative Analysis

The overall housing sales in the first quarter of the year were the lowest in the past 5 years. In fact, even the local listings of detached, attached and apartment properties dropped by almost 7 percent in March as compared to previous year. But total housing stats across the region increased to 6,864 units in the first three months of 2018, up by 30 percent from the last year. Massive increments were also noticed in the Northern Vancouver area, where about 1,422 new homes were initiated, comparable to only 107 in the same period the preceding year. Even though there have been almost 43,000 new homes under construction across the Metro Vancouver area, the current inventory remains incredibly low.

Housing Price Benchmark Reaching Astonishing New Heights

Sales have started to outstrip supply for condos and townhouses. The benchmark price for a condo was close to $700,000 in March. This is a leap of 26% compared to the preceding year. Standard townhouse prices across Metro Vancouver reached $835,300 last month, which is a 2 % hike over February and an overall 18% rise from March 2017.

Renters are paying the real price when it comes to living in these highly expensive areas. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, average rent has nationally gone up previous year by 2.7 percent to $947 per month. Meanwhile, rental property is becoming tougher and tougher to avail. The CMHC says that the overall vacancy rate for cities across the country was three percent in 2017, down from 3.7 percent in 2016. In its annual report on housing rentals, the corporation said the demand for a purpose-built apartment is outpacing the growth in supply, while the rates of condos rented out are also declining.

This uncontrollable price outburst has taken the market by surprise. This is becoming a serious concern for both businesses and residents looking to recruit new candidates. It is becoming immensely cumbersome to buy quality real estate in Vancouver. The government of British Columbia is looking to follow new measures intended to mitigate the highly inflammable housing costs.

Increasing construction can meet the rising demand for rental studios and multi-family homes. Beyond that, it wouldn’t hurt for people to look for suitable accommodations adjacent to or on the outskirts of the Metro Vancouver area!

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Cost of Living Vancouver V.S. International Cities

“Vancouver is expensive to live” has been ring our ears for a while. We have the most expensive gas in North America (gas prices spike to $1.50CAD/Litre) , as well as high cost on housings..etc. On the other hand, we also believe that Vancouver is “very international” as we have

  • hosted at least one Olympic event (2010 Winter Olympics)
  • ranked top 3 most livable cities according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU)
  • lots of new immigrants & speaks over 200 languages

The’s  a cost for being a “popular” city so it is expensive to live in! However, how “expensive” is Vancouver compare to other popular ones?   Let’s have a look at cost of living compared with other well-known cities around the world. Looks like we are not too bad!

Cost of Living in Vancouver V.S. other major cities such as Tokyo, New York, Shanghai and more (data April 2018 from Numbo.com)

Please include attribution to Condos in Yaletown with this graphic.

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Yaletown, Vancouver – A Real Estate Prospect Despite Current Situation

2016 – A Year of Ups & Downs for Vancouver Real Estate

At the start of 2016, Metro Vancouver had been a real estate Eldorado, witnessing record-smashing numbers in housing sales and listings. With every passing month since early spring, housing numbers continued the trend of dwarfing the preceding months’ and years’ records. Yaletown was no exception to this, being one of Metro Vancouver’s most desired locations to live in.

A significant contribution to this trend in Metro Vancouver was the investment by foreign buyers, both businessmen and immigrants, in one of Canada’s fastest-growing metros. 2016, particularly, saw a huge surge in the number of foreigners that were migrating to the city. The Metro Vancouver real estate was booming and was at its peak. But so were the prices of listings. Housing rates were at its all-time highest, and it was beginning to concern the city’s officials.

vancouver-supply-demand-real-estate
There’s been an increase in unit listed (supply) and huge drop on the unit sold (demand). This gives a strong signal of buyer’s market. Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

In August of this year, the City of Vancouver passed a new tax law on foreigners who wanted to buy into the city’s real estate market. The Foreign Buyers’ Tax was a 15 percent levy that was introduced to thwart off the increasing number of foreign buyers who were significantly responsible for the massive housing rates in Vancouver.

What followed was entirely unprecedented. As expected, the number of sales naturally dropped down drastically in the same month that the levy was implemented. But, in a surprising turn of events, the average housing rates did not budge at all. In fact, many areas including Yaletown, saw housing prices go up despite the fact that there was a lower demand.

The worrying situation failed to improve as September came around. The conditions reflected on a report released by UBS Switzerland on September 27th, declaring Metro Vancouver as the “World’s Highest Bubble Risk.”

Despite these rough waves that have been hitting Vancouver recently, many experts believe that Vancouver’s real estate will continue to remain healthy. A forecast by Central 1 Credit Union predicts B.C.’s hot real estate market will remain healthy for the next two years. Senior economist, Brian Yu believes that slower growth is healthier for the market because sky-rocketing Greater Vancouver prices seen during what he described as “spring fever” were unsustainable, in the early part of 2016.

A Healthier Future for Yaletown

At the hub of Metro Vancouver’s Downtown area, and situated in one of its prime locations, is Yaletown. Its distinct location makes Yaletown one of the most desirable places to live in the city. This automatically results in a higher demand for housing, and ultimately, makes the area one of Vancouver’s most expensive.

Given the recent fluctuating situation and rough sailing real estate boat of Metro Vancouver, Yaletown has been at the thick and thin of it all. With every crest and trough that the city has undergone, it has been directly reflected on Yaletown too.

As the number of listings continues to stack up, the number of housing sales has failed to show any signs of picking up pace anytime soon. Despite this, the rates of listings have not eased. On the contrary, it has gone up over the past couple of months.

Average housing prices currently, at an average, stands at $1,538,349, including detached and attached homes, and apartments. The highest price stands at over a staggering $8 million.

Despite all the inflation within Yaletown’s property prices, Yu’s prediction indicates a promising and healthy future for Yaletown. The popularity of the prime Vancouver region is expected to remain positive.

Dealing with the housing prices in Yaletown can be tricky but promising. Yaletown Condo Listing can help guide you if you want to buy a house in Yaletown, Vancouver.

Home Price Index for Greater Vancouver, Sep 2016 – Detached Home

Area Benchmark Price Index 1 Month +/- 6 Month +/- 1 Year +/- 3 Year +/- 5 Year +/-
Greater Vancouver $1,567,500 289.1 -0.6 16.8 32.7 69.5 66.3
Bowen Island $796,500 172.7 -0.2 21.9 23.8 38.0 31.9
Burnaby East $1,228,500 274.7 -2.6 12.4 29.7 64.5 70.8
Burnaby North $1,564,700 302.6 -2.0 15.1 29.2 66.3 72.3
Burnaby South $1,689,400 323.4 -0.6 21.1 36.5 73.9 75.0
Coquitlam $1,210,600 268.6 -1.5 15.7 34.2 71.7 75.9
Ladner $1,064,800 256.7 3.3 16.2 36.0 70.6 69.9
Lower Mainland $1,252,800 266.1 -0.9 17.1 33.9 65.2 65.2
Maple Ridge $717,400 204.4 0.7 19.1 36.5 55.8 55.1
New Westminster $1,086,000 269.4 -1.6 14.2 31.0 63.8 64.5
North Vancouver $1,663,500 264.8 -1.6 16.9 37.2 74.1 81.7
Pitt Meadows $793,200 223.5 1.2 19.8 34.9 56.7 62.2
Port Coquitlam $888,500 237.0 -2.1 10.4 27.8 61.8 61.7
Port Moody $1,381,900 255.2 -0.9 14.1 30.9 62.3 70.5
Richmond $1,684,800 337.9 -1.1 19.2 39.2 79.5 66.9
Squamish $788,300 209.6 -1.5 19.7 29.1 59.0 58.9
Sunshine Coast $479,800 168.1 0.9 16.7 25.4 40.8 26.4
Tsawwassen $1,269,700 273.4 1.8 14.3 36.6 77.8 78.2
Vancouver East $1,537,300 339.8 0.2 19.3 32.4 80.9 86.8
Vancouver West $3,623,300 372.0 0.2 17.9 32.1 73.2 62.0
West Vancouver $3,361,600 319.6 0.1 20.1 36.4 81.0 89.1
Whistler $1,301,800 180.2 -1.6 15.5 22.5 48.3 38.6