The real estate market is not tapering off for the summer as it has traditionally done. The pressure on the market is like the effects of climate change in the country. The jet stream has moved north and the ensuing rainstorms have flooded previously unflooded territory. Analogous to the moving jet stream is the flow of offshore and investment money into the Vancouver real estate market. Prices continue to rise. Demand is highest in the detached expensive homes and fancy downtown condos. Although prices are rising everywhere.
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According to Sotheby's International Realty Canada there was an increase of 40% in the number of sales of million dollar plus homes and condos in 2014 over the same period in 2013.
This demand for high end homes is occurring in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.
Vancouver is a destination city in the same league as Sydney, London, New York and San Francisco. Outside money is an important driver although there are lots of wealthy local buyers too. There was speculation when the Federal Government cancelled the Immigrant Investor Program that high end real estate sales would be impacted. That worry has proved to be unfounded.
Canada has no restrictions on foreign ownership of real property. It does have a rule that a non-Permanent Resident can only be in the country for 183 days in a year. This allows foreign buyers to own a second or third home in a safe location with a temperate climate and to visit periodically.
Despite the efforts of CMHC to cool the market with mortgage insurance changes the low mortgage interest rates plus the numbers of financially qualified buyers have kept real estate sales moving forward. Prices in Vancouver are rising in every category due to lack of available properties for sale and nowhere to expand the footprint of the city.
In Vancouver, the number of sales are up but listings are down. There were 1060 listings reported by Vancouver's REALTORS®, which is 2.02 per cent up in comparison with June last year. Listings fell by 6.19 per cent to 1727 properties listed for sale. In Vancouver West, apartments and townhouses sold better than a year before, on the contrary detached homes didn't sell as well; there were 13.79 per cent less sales of detached homes in the area known for its astronomical benchmark price of $2.3 million. Vancouver East experienced growing sales of townhouses and detached properties, while apartment sales dropped slightly.
The real estate market was lively also in Richmond, with 166 detached homes, 113 townhouses and 141 apartment units sold. The total number of sales of residential properties of these three types is 420 which 36.36 per cent more in a year-over year comparison (since there were only 308 sales in Richmond in June 2013) which is a considerable jump. The benchmark price for all property types in Richmond, BC rose by 2.9 per cent year-over-year reaching $507,900.