Crack­ing $1M

Metro Van­cou­ver res­i­den­tial prop­erty bench­mark price sur­passes mile­stone

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY ALEKSANDRA SA­GAN

The typ­i­cal price of a home in Metro Van­cou­ver sur­passed $1 mil­lion for the first time last July, the Real Es­tate Board of Greater Van­cou­ver said on the one-year an­niver­sary of Bri­tish Columbia’s 15 per cent sur­tax on for­eign home­buy­ers.

The board says the com­pos­ite bench­mark price for all res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in the area – in­clud­ing de­tached homes, town­houses and con­do­mini­ums – is cur­rently $1,019,400, up 8.7 per cent from July 2016.

The bench­mark price for de­tached prop­er­ties in Metro Van­cou­ver is about $1.612 mil­lion, for at­tached prop­er­ties $763,700 and for apart­ments $616,600.

Jill Oudil, the board’s pres­i­dent, said it wasn’t a sur­prise to see the bench­mark creep over seven fig­ures.

“It’s just an in­di­ca­tion of the sup­ply and de­mand that we’ve seen through­out the last while,” she said, not­ing in par­tic­u­lar high de­mand and low sup­ply for con­do­mini­ums and town­homes.

The bench­mark price for Metro Van­cou­ver con­do­mini­ums has jumped 18.5 per cent since last year, ac­cord­ing to the board, and for town­homes it in­creased 11.9 per cent.

While home prices con­tin­ued to edge up, there were more list­ings and fewer sales in the area last month.

The board says there were 2,960 res­i­den­tial prop­erty sales in the re­gion – down 8.2 per cent from a year ago – and 5,256 prop­er­ties were newly listed for sale last month. That brought the to­tal num­ber of listed prop­er­ties above 9,000 for the first time this year.

Oudil said the spike in list­ings could be due to a typ­i­cal sea­sonal slow­down in home pur­chases as peo­ple tend to push house hunt­ing to the side dur­ing the sum­mer months.

Still, she added that some pock­ets of the city con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence high de­mand and mul­ti­ple of­fers for prop­er­ties, while other ar­eas have slowed.

The board re­leased the fig­ures one year af­ter the prov­ince’s for­mer Lib­eral gov­ern­ment im­posed a 15 per cent for­eign buy­ers’ tax.

Oudil said the board doesn’t track for­eign in­vest­ment but does con­duct a poll of its mem­bers, which pro­vides some in­sight.

“We haven’t seen that did make any dras­tic changes to our mar­ket,” Oudil said of the tax.

“We don’t be­lieve that in­creas­ing taxes will nec­es­sar­ily change pric­ing and it cer­tainly doesn’t in­crease sup­ply.”

The new NDP gov­ern­ment has said it’s re­view­ing whether the tax and other mea­sures were ef­fec­tive.

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