VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – They just keep climbing! At the end of 2017, the average home price in Metro Vancouver was $1.27 million, and Canada’s largest real estate firm expects that number to rise another 5.2 per cent — about $66,000 — by the end of this year.
“We had a very strong year across Canada for housing, driven by a very buoyant economy, particularly the labour market,” explains Phil Soper, Royal LePage President and CEO.
“Unemployment across the country is at a 42 year low, and when people are working and confident, they are looking to buy homes.”
Believe it or not, Metro Vancouver’s real estate experienced a downturn in 2016 after the province imposed a 15 per cent surtax on foreign homebuyers. While home prices didn’t go down, the rate at which their values increased did. Soper says in this sense, the market experienced a slow recovery in 2017.
He tells us market demand is being driven by new immigrants to Canada, Millennials, and people coming in from other parts of BC. As Metro Vancouver’s housing prices remain the highest in the country, many of those people are choosing to live in condos, which Soper describes as the “last bastion of affordability” in the major cities.
“It’s not like the suburban dream is disappearing altogether, but it does mean longer commutes — particularly for young families — and more and more people will choose to live in condominiums,” he adds.
Condo prices went up over 14 per cent nation-wide year-over-year in the final quarter of 2017. In Metro Vancouver, the price jump was over 20 per cent.
“It’s unlikely we’ll see actual softness or dropping in home prices in the near future. In fact, I’d be surprised to see prices actually back up again over the next few years,” Soper says.
Across Canada, while year-over-year price growth did slow during the fourth quarter of 2017, the price of a home still increased 10.8 per cent to $626,042.