What a year it’s been in the Vancouver real estate industry. The correction of the housing market wiped out pockets of equity in the Westside—and that was only one of the big things that happened of 2018. In no particular order, here are the top 5 real estate stories of 2015.
Vancouver Real Estate Sales Slump
While housing prices haven’t slid much, especially for Vancouver townhouses and condos, actual sales figures dipped precipitously. To be exact, sales were down 43.5% in September year over year. But the benchmark price for detached homes continues to exceed one million. On a positive note, the correction translates into more choice and room to negotiate for buyers.
In BC, Finance Minister Carole James announced major changes around fiscal policy. Specifically, a surtax on homes valued at over $3 million, a new speculation/vacancy tax, a 5% increase in the foreign buyer’s tax, and a hike in the property purchase tax. Many of these changes were implemented to rein in an increasingly volatile market.
Owners are Residents
While social media is often full of complaints about foreign buyers, data released by Statistics Canada suggests the vast amount of residential property owners are actually domestic. Only about 5% of owners are non-residents. Properties of non-individual ownership (held by businesses or corporations) sits at about 5.6%.
In November, Global BC said that a secret report purported that over $1 billion had been laundered through the Vancouver real estate market in 2016. About 10% of 1200 luxury purchases were linked to people with criminal histories.
As of Jan 1st, 2018, financial institutions were required to vet borrowers’ applications using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (5.14 percent at the time) or their contractual rate, plus two percentage points.
While November may have been bleak for sales, housing prices only fell by 1.4%. However, many experts predict that BC’s high lifestyle appeal, combined with a housing landscape that offers more flexibility and choice, will allow the market to come in for a soft landing and bring greater opportunities for those searching for a home in 2019.
Looking to buy or sell a townhouse in 2019?
As an experienced townhouse realtor in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin has been tracking and studying townhouse sales and neighbourhood trends for over 15 years. Her one-on-one approach to buying and selling emphasizes a customer-first attitude and allows her to deliver results and value. Call (604) 779-1500 to set up a complimentary consultation with Ariane today.