Newsletter E-market update
February 10, 2017
February 2017 Newsletter
Metro Vancouver housing market off to a lukewarm start
Did anyone notice the slippery slope we travelled down in the last half of 2016? It started to accelerate at the same time our provincial government introduced the foreign buyers tax. By the end of the year our sales figures had slipped and prices in some market segments (read: detached homes) had started to decline. So far, in 2017 buyers and sellers are still less likely to engage in a transaction than they were a year ago.
Statistically in January there were only 36 sales of detached Westside homes compared to 134 last January. Westside townhome sales totaled 24 compared to 36 and condo sales tallied 211 compared to 303 last January. On the Eastside detached home sales in January were 51 compared to 99 last January. There were 12 Eastside townhome sales this January compared to 20 last January and Eastside condo sales totaled 75 compared to 88 a year ago.
The bright spots that I see early this year are condos and townhomes priced under $1M, especially one and two bedroom suites that can be rented out. Anything correctly priced under $600,000 is attracting multiple offers. Detached homes that have adjusted to the new prices are also selling. My market sense is that there are a lot of buyers sitting on the sidelines waiting and once the snow clears and warmer weather hits, we will see a much more active market in the coming months. The smart buyer should be out there now looking!
On February 15th minimum down payment rules are changing in Canada-for homes worth more than $500,000. The change is straightforward: for any portion of the home priced over $500,000, buyers will need to provide 10% down payment for an insured mortgage. The minimum down payment for the first $500,000 will remain the same at 5%.
And it appears that our premier is going to amend the tax on foreign buyers. Christy Clark now says the levy will be lifted for those who have a work permit and pay taxes in B.C., in order to encourage more people to come and work in our province. There has even been a suggestion that anyone who has already paid that tax will be reimbursed. I wonder about the foreign buyers who were unable to complete on their home because they didn’t have the money to pay the tax? Will they be able to get their deposits back? Or sue because they lost their potential home?
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