Vancouver slowdown keeps investor hopes alive

Home sales in that city fell to 2,799, down 13.2 per cent from April 2011. That’s also 2.6 per cent lower than March’s weak showing and represents the fifth consecutive month of decline.

Still, for now at least, Vancouver has stymied hopes prices will take a step in the same direction.

Despite those weaker sales, prices climbed in April, up 3.7 per cent from a year ago, logging an average of $683,800.

But there is reason to keep hope alive. The number of homeowners bringing their houses, condo, et al, to market has actually increased 16 per cent from a year ago. Analysts point to sellers’ own dreams of cashing out at the height of the market and before interest rates go up.

The increased inventory is expected to frustrate those ambitions as buyers become spoiled for choice. That situation is somewhat distinct from Canada’s other high-priced market, Toronto, where a dearth of homes for sale has helped to keep prices at record levels, say analysts.

There, investors looking to make acquisitions have largely had their hopes crushed as they face bidding wars and a glut of domestic and foreign homebuyers prepared to pay as much as 50 per cent over asking.

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