“The third quarter of 2018–that’s when the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) believes Vancouver’s runaway market will finally start to slow down,” says Vancouver Realtor Ariane Benjamin.
According to many experts, supply and demand are part of the reason prices remain sky-high in Vancouver. Now it seems developers have taken note of the shortage and are responding by dramatically increasing construction of multi-family housing—like townhouses and condos.
While starts (construction of new developments) across Metro Vancouver surged by 40 percent to reach 22,700 new units in 2016, statistics suggest that fewer than 4000 new units actually become available each quarter. Based on estimated completion times, a report from the BCREA estimates that new unit availability will rise to 6000 per quarter by late next year.
“Many of these units are already pre-sold,” says Ariane. “It’s something many developers just have to do to help finance construction. However, increased access to multi-family housing means that some renters will be able to make the jump to home ownership. Simultaneously, single family homes will also be freed up by downsizing empty nesters. In other words, more rentals and single-family homes will also become available.”
While the report cautions that building more multi-family homes isn’t the sole solution for Vancouver’s housing crunch, it says that significantly increasing the supply of homes on the market will help cool increasing rental and home prices in Vancouver.
As a Vancouver realtor, Ariane knows there’s a lot of demand for townhouses and condos right now, because these are properties are relatively affordable.
“If Vancouver is going to remain a vibrant city, it needs to be accessible to bright, young people,” she adds. “That’s why we’re seeing initiatives like Mayor Robertson’s #HousingVancouver strategy, which will add more than 72,000 homes to the landscape over the next decade. It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry, and I’m hopeful that prudent management will result in a win-win for both homeowners and homebuyers.”