"Never give up. Today is hard. Tomorrow is worse, but the day after tomorrow is sunshine."
– Jack Ma, Alibaba Group
In Vancouver it always gets better the day after tomorrow. We just have to hold on long enough to see the sunshine. According to Bloomberg we are a city awash in foreign money and it has distorted Life as we once knew it. There are cities all over the world experiencing massive infusions of foreign capital that have transformed their real estate markets and the cost of living for locals but Vancouver is the poster child for Chinese investment in real estate over the past decade.
After a recent period of falling investments from overseas Chinese buyers it appears that Vancouver is still a popular destination. There is a drive to invest their funds outside China and the main Chinese real estate website is showing reviving interest in Vancouver.
The recent civic elections have proven to be a backlash against the usual way of doing business. In every municipality the overriding concern was about increasing the amount of affordable housing. The question is, can things be changed enough to make Metro Vancouver affordable again? The Vancouver housing market has been affected by rising interest rates plus changes in housing policy and added taxes. According to Daphne Bramham of the Vancouver Sun there are opposing policies and ideas in every municipality.
Vancouver and Toronto have both risen in the international home-cost index.
This affordability question has heavily impacted the number of sales in the detached home market. Price does matter.
Feeding Frenzy by Reva G
There is lots of interest in buying at the lower end of the condo market but it requires passing the stress test to qualify for a mortgage. As interest rates rise that is more of a challenge. When prices decline to a point where more buyers can qualify for a mortgage numbers of sales will rise.
Overall it is a time of great opportunity in the housing market. Vancouver is never down for long.
Detached homes sales have declined 40.4% compared to September 2017. The detached benchmark price across the region is $1,540,900, a 4.5% decrease from September 2017. This includes a 3.4% decrease over the past 3 months.
Townhomes are desirable to downsizing buyers but the drop in the numbers of sales of detached homes has put many buyers plans on hold. Attached sales numbers are down 46,9% from September 2017, The benchmark price across the region is $837,600, a 6.4% price increase compared to September 2017. This includes a 2% decrease over the past 3 months.
Condominiums which were the choice of first time buyers last year have been heavily impacted by the mortgage stress test and the 7.4% price increase from September 2017. Apartment sales numbers are down 44% from September 2017. The regional benchmark price is $687,300. This includes a 3.1% decrease over the past 3 months.
"Metro Vancouver’s housing market has changed pace as compared to the last few years," as stated by Ashley Smith President-Elect Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. "Our townhome and apartment markets are sitting in balanced market territory and our detached home market remains in a clear buyers’ market."
The sales to active listing ratio for September 2018 is 12.2%. By property type, the ratio is 7.8% for detached homes, 14% for townhouses, and 17.6% for condominiums.
In September 2018 the benchmark price for a detached in North Vancouver was $1,620,300 down 5.4% in one year, up 68.1% in 5 years and up 89% in 10 years.
In Richmond the detached benchmark price was $1,662,600 down 5.4% in one year, up 71.1% in 5 years and up 117.5% in 10 years.
In Vancouver East the detached benchmark price was $1,502,900 down 4.0% in one year, up 76.9% in 5 years and up 132.6% in 10 years.
In Vancouver West the detached benchmark price was $3,254,200 down 10.9% in one year, up 55.5% in 5 years and up 117.7% in 10 years.
In West Vancouver the detached benchmark price was $2,777,500 down 11.4% in one year, up 47.3% in 5 years and up 85.2% in 10 years.
Each year affordability declined for local buyers. First time buyers are particularly hard hit by mortgage stress tests, high prices and lack of affordable inventory.
In September 2018 the benchmark price for a condo apartment in North Vancouver was $595,700 up 6.0% in one year, up 65.2% in 5 years and up 69.7% in 10 years.
In Richmond the condo benchmark price was $690,600 up 12.8% in one year, up 90.8% in 5 years and 98.8% in 10 years.
In Vancouver East the condo benchmark price was $575,700 up 7.5% in one year, up 91.8% in 5 years and up 99.2% in 10 years.
In Vancouver West the condo benchmark price was $804,100 up 1.0% in one year, up 69.2% in 5 years and up 82.6% in 10 years.
In West Vancouver the condo benchmark price was $1,213,900 up 5.2% in one year, up 62.8% in 5 years and up 74.5% in 10 years.