Feb 2011 7

Vancouver Metro Prices Still Rising

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Photo by Mo Riza Photo by Mo Riza

Most of the Canadian provinces’ real estate markets have been in a usual winter slumber, but the Vancouver housing market has its engines still going. The post-recession year 2010 saw a big boost in British Columbia’s housing sales activity, a rising economy and the Winter Olympics bringing first-time buyers. As a result, the prices are expected to continue to rise a bit, but will be probably held on a leash by the higher interest rate.

Downtown Vancouver is a whole different story, though. Throughout 2010, prices rose sharply and are expected to rise further in 2011, with continuously growing demand. Richmond, Westside and West Vancouver houses seem to be considered a highly valuable investment, with prices that picked up 50% in some cases over the last 2 years. Westside has now an average price for a detached home at the level of $1,698,925, which is a 46% increase in two years. Recently, many houses in areas with few listings were reported to be sold way above asking price. People speculate about the driving force of these new bidding wars, but a simple supply vs. demand theory is in place in most cases.

The average home price in Vancouver was $602,000 in the third quarter of 2010 according to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, which is almost 10 times more than an average Vancouver household’s annual income. This makes Metro Vancouver, with its low inventory, less affordable for local buyers, but doesn’t discourage foreigners who choose to invest in our beautiful city.

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