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Local housing market still 'taking a breather' but runaway home prices could return

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

'It won't stay this way for long' warns Royal LePage CEO

Latest house price survey shows overall 3.9 per cent growth locally for third quarter, year over year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The brakes are still pumping in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, but the latest report on local housing comes with a warning: the return of runaway prices remains a very real threat.

It’s a “soft landing,” according to Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper, who says their latest house price survey shows the effects of government measures to cool things down.

What were previously called the “dangerously overheated” conditions in Metro Vancouver housing have cooled significantly, but prices have remained resilient.

He says it’s the soft landing policy-makers had hoped for, rather than a crash.

“But it won’t stay this way for long. Household formation in Canada… is going to grow rapidly,” he predicts.

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Soper points to people coming to the region from out-of-country and out-of-province, as well as the large number of millennial wanting to buy. “You take those three drivers of household formation and this quiet time, where house prices are going up by low single-digits, it won’t last.”

Royal LePage’s latest house price survey shows an overall 3.9 per cent growth locally for the third quarter, year-over-year — a return to pretty normal conditions.

Soper says policy-makers and politicians can’t use the pause in the market to think their job is done, arguing they need to keep looking for ways to increase the pace of creating new housing.