Prominent condo marketer Bob Rennie said the high-end house prices in west-side Vancouver were so out of line with the rest of the region and country that it was skewing people’s perceptions of real-estate increases, not just in Metro Vancouver, but in all of Canada.
“In 2010, reports were saying real estate went up 8.9 per cent in Canada. But if you took out Vancouver, it only went up 4.3 per cent,” he said.
The spike in west-side house prices the last two years has provoked intense media coverage – with one Bloomberg News story in late May headlined, Chinese Spreading Wealth Make Vancouver Homes Pricier Than NYC – and debate among residents, politicians and commentators both here and abroad.
Much of it was attributed to “mainland Chinese” buyers, although no one had hard overall numbers to support that. Nor could anyone say whether that group might be 100 or 1,000 people, or whether they were truly offshore investors or immigrants. But that didn’t stop arguments about the need to limit foreign ownership or to tax speculation to prevent the nebulous phenomenon.
A number of realtors said early signs started appearing six months ago that the market was slowing down, but the difference really appeared in early March. There is usually a surge of buying in Vancouver around Chinese New Year, as visitors from China come to see family or friends in the city and often make decisions to buy.
- On May 2 we saw an increase in total listings of +121
- On May 3: +157
- On May 4: +192
- And today, May 7: +135
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