Newsletter E-market update
February 19, 2015
Home buyers are active despite reduced selection
It has been a bit of a warm wet winter, and for the first time in years I stayed in Vancouver and brought my mother out from Ontario to spend Christmas here. I had forgotten how dark it gets in the middle of our winter season. However, it was a great Christmas, and I cherish still having my mother around and the time I can spend with her.
The first month of the year got off to a good start with sales numbers above average, while the number of properties listed for sale remain well below typical levels. The competition amongst buyers, particularly in the detached home market has continued to push our prices higher. I watched as one Westside property received 31 offers and sold for well over asking price. With interest rates set to remain low, I expect to see a very active market this spring and the buying spree will pick up as more properties come on the market.
What happened to our dollar? Just a few months ago I was eagerly converting Canadian dollars in order to cross the border and get a deal on a hotel, some shopping and entertainment. All of a sudden our property prices are looking much better to our southern neighbor. If our dollar hovers around the 75-80 cent US mark this year we should see an increase in the number of Americans shopping for property here.
Chinese New Year is this week and it will be interesting to see how many homes are sold during this time, and how many are sold to off shore buyers. While our Federal government shut down the Investor Immigration Program last year (they limited it to 50 successful applicants this year), we are still seeing a large number of immigrants arriving either because they were previously accepted, or they are applying to Quebec, which still has an active program. Once accepted, the majority of the new immigrants leave Quebec and approximately 40% of them come to B.C. The net result is we are still seeing a steady flow of wealthy new immigrants arriving in our city.
As I see the weather reports and temperatures in other parts of Canada, I am reminded why Vancouver will continue to be the best city in our country to live.
Gung Hai Fat Choy
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