This city’s house prices are now in ‘jaw dropping’ territory

Demand has far outstripped supply in the Vancouver housing market, driving prices skyward.

The median price for a single-family detached home on the city’s west side hit $2.91 million last month. That’s a spike of 15.9% from October of 2014 and a 42% jump from the same time in 2013. On the east side, the median price last month was $1.29 million, 29.4% higher than last year and 47.7% above 2013 prices.

The average home price for all of Greater Vancouver hit a record high of $1.58 million in October. Prices for detached homes within the city of Vancouver hit an average of $2.2 million in September. These price gains are driven largely by extremely limited supply.

“When my clients go to open houses, they see a lot of people who end up bidding,” Ken Wong, an agent with Royal Pacific Realty Group, told the Globe and Mail. “Bidding wars are common. There just isn’t enough housing product out there.”

Foreign investors – especially buyers from China eager to snap up high-end properties on the city’s west side – have garnered a lot of media attention as a key driver of price gains. However another driver is simply lack of available land to develop. Vancouver is effectively boxed in by the ocean on one side and mountains and protected lands on the other.

Whatever the ultimate cause, Vancouver currently has the highest housing prices in the country. Toronto came in at number two, with average prices for detached houses sold in the city at $1.05 million, a 10.7% increase over last year and up 23.1% from 2013.

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  • by Joannah Connolly 2015-11-04 1:57:21 PM

    Please check your facts and report on them accurately.
    You say, "The average home price for all of Greater Vancouver hit a record high of $1.58 million in October." This is in fact the average home price for a detached single-family home - not across all property types. Average Greater Vancouver townhome prices for October 2015 are $658,017 and condos are $494,689.
    The MLS benchmark price for a home (composite property types) in Greater Vancouver is $736,000. Still high, yes - but hardly $1.5m.
    CREW is a trusted news source - so please be accurate.

  • by muckymuck 2015-11-04 9:59:14 PM

    It's caused by wealthy Chinese government and corporate officials needing to get their money out of China -- being driven out by Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown :)

  • by Eric Coulombe 2015-11-06 9:02:19 AM

    Joannah, as a Vancouver realtor, it's very refreshing to see someone in your position making such a comment. The vast majority of buyers and vast majority of realtors are not operating in the price ranges that are being dramatically affected. The rate of appreciation for houses is triple or quadruple (loosely but verifiably speaking, since 2008) that of condos and townhouses, and that is speaking in terms of averages, not medians. There has always been more than enough of a 'hype influence' in our market, it seems: local and national media would serve their audiences far more responsibly to focus much more on clarity and context (being pointed about average vs median, pointedly breaking out each major segment, etc.), rather than the apparent current practice of finding the most attention-getting available statistic and 'leading' with it. In some insensitive and not very savoury ways, it stirs economic, social, and cultural pots in our city.

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