VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we get a better idea of how foreign investment is influencing our real estate market, we’re finding out how sales of luxury homes in Metro Vancouver have soared in the last six months.
A new report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada finds homes that will set you back at least $4 million have seen the biggest increase in sales.
“In condos in the $4-million and up range, it’s up 191 per cent versus the first six months of last year,” says Managing Broker Polly Cordwell.
Sales of detached single family homes were nearly double.
Now, most people are not looking a $4-million home; Cordwell tells us sales of $1-million to $2-million condos were double what they were last year.
But he says houses in that range were only up nine per cent.
“I think that’s very indicative of the fact that there’s just less and less single family homes available in that price category, and especially with the low inventory numbers that we’re seeing right now.”
The $1-million-plus condo market outperformed the rest of the country, with sales up by 95 per cent compared to the first six months of 2015.
So what is behind the trends?
“There are a number of factors,” says Cordwell. “Definitely, limited inventory is a really big one that we’ve been seeing this year. There’s very strong demand; we’ve got low unemployment here in BC — lower than the national average — strong consumer confidence; of course, we’ve got low mortgage rates; and we’ve got foreign demand as well.”
“Really, we’re just looking at a marketplace that is continuing to increase here in Vancouver. I think Vancouver is becoming more of an internationally recognized city, so we’re kind of going through a bit of a transition here in Vancouver with people adjusting to that. We’re going to see more densification as the population grows, and I think that’s why we’re seeing more of these condos in that higher price point because we have limited space here. There’s going to be more luxury condominiums and everything available to meet that demand. And we’re expecting this market — I mean it’s been really, really hot over the last few months — to continue to be strong into the foreseeable future here. We’re not seeing any of these market influences changing in the next little while.”
The BC government has been collecting data on citizenship for about a month, and Finance Minister Mike De Jong is set to release the first batch of numbers later today.