'Wait-and-see' approach pulling down Vancouver demand

Buyers and investors alike have adopted a cautious stance towards Vancouver’s real estate assets for most of 2018, which the city’s real estate board attributed as the main driver of slower overall activity.

In November, the market’s sales volume fell 42.5% year-over-year, bringing it to a level 34.7% below the 10-year average, according to the latest numbers from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

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This followed a pronounced decrease in demand for the city’s residential properties in October. In its report, the Canadian Real Estate Association stated that Vancouver’s sales-to-new-listings ratio fell by 26.22% annually during that month to reach 48.4.

Read more: B.C. gov’t has yet to make good on affordability commitments

Complicating matters is the fact that only 1 out of 10 people currently renting in the city are planning to buy their own homes next year, a problematic prospect in a market with a demand level that is the 3rd lowest in Western Canada.

“While homebuying intentions are up among current home buyers [14% in 2017 to 19% this year], this has been offset by weaker intentions among current renters – the latter being the primary pool for potential first-time buyers. Affordability remains a challenge for first-time buyers in the Vancouver market,” according to the Altus Group’s Vancouver Flash Report 2018.

REBGV data indicated that the benchmark price of the market’s detached homes as of November was just over $1.5 million, while apartments were at $667,800 (2.3% annual decrease).


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