Market for Vancouver apartment buildings is ‘unrelenting’

by Ryan Smith

Home prices in the Vancouver area are already Canada’s highest, with the average price for a single-family detached home hitting $1.58 million in October. But the apartment market is “unrelenting” as well, according to a veteran realtor.

There were 73 apartment sales in the first six months of 2015 – a 20% spike over the same period last year, according to the Goodman Report.

“It’s moving so fast. We’ve never witnessed this kind of deal volume and activity,” HQ Commercial principal Mark Goodman told the report.

Goodman said the rush to purchase apartments is unprecedented. “I’m getting 25, 30 people showing up over two-day periods,” he told the Report. Goodman said his team was forecasting that 155 apartment buildings would sell by the end of the calendar year -- $1 billion in volume.

Many offshore buyers, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and German investors, have been showing interest in the apartment market, Goodman said.

“They’re interested because the euro is so strong versus the Canadian dollar,” he said.

Demand is also being driven largely by nearly nonexistent rental supply. Indeed, HQ Commercial principal David Goodman has predicted that low vacancy rates and high demand may cause a “rent increase tsunami” in the Greater Vancouver area.

In the Goodman Report, David Goodman noted that rents were spiking by 10-20% whenever an apartment turned over.

“The Goodman Report forecasts that over the next few years, in the face of ever-growing demand, tenants will need to brace themselves as annual rent increases will play catch-up and far surpass inflation rates,” he wrote.

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