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‘You’re starting to witness the slowdown’: declines expected in today’s Vancouver real estate figures

By Justin McElroy for CBC News

Mortgage stress tests, interest rate hikes, new provincial taxes all in effect together for the first time.

People hoping for Vancouver’s housing bubble to burst could find reasons to be optimistic today.

Monthly real estate figures for the Lower Mainland will be released for every municipality, with predictions of significant drops in total sales compared to a year ago.

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“When we look across most markets in B.C. over the first quarter of this year, sales are down,” said Cameron Muir, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

Real estate agent and industry blogger Steve Saretsky says the drop is largely due to new mortgage stress test rules, but the cumulative effect of interest rate hikes and new housing taxes by the government are also playing a role.

“Prices can’t rise by 30 per cent on an annual basis forever. The greatest price gains are behind us, and you’re starting to witness the slowdown,” he said.

“All those new policies coming into effect, I don’t think, are bullish for real estate in the short term.”

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Values are not the issue, prices are.

    Most home buyers are not sophisticated when it comes to valuation. So they will listen to a real estate agent or a mortgage broker (real estate “professionals” who profit from a transaction – not the investment results of their advice) when the professional tells then the home’s price is a “value” (or a bargain). If buyers were concerned about value they would set-up criteria for judging the utility of their investment. Price would be based on utility to the investor. Not the “comps”.

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