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Vancouver’s hot housing market shows signs of cooling

By Glen Korstrom for BIV

Metro Vancouver’s turbocharged residential real estate market is showing signs of slowing, with sales plunging, prices edging down and a large swath of properties hitting the market.

It is enough to temper the enthusiasm of some longtime boosters of the market.

Chip Wilson, for example, has for years been bullish on the region’s residential real estate market, which in October saw the benchmark price for all homes in the region up 76.8% compared with five years earlier.

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His own home at 3085 Point Grey Road is the priciest in the province, with an assessed value of more than $78.8 million – up more than 124% in the past five years. Wilson also owns rental-apartment buildings through his Low Tide Properties.
When Business in Vancouver asked Wilson on October 24 whether it is a good time to buy Vancouver real estate, he did not skip a beat before answering, “Absolutely not.”

Wilson’s comment came four days after the most recent civic elections and he did not sound pleased with the result.

“We have three levels of left-wing government,” he said. “Money will go to where it is most loved, and investment here is very, very, very difficult right now.”

Wilson does not plan to sell his residential real estate holdings, and he expects to develop some of his commercial properties, but he said Vancouver is “not an environment where a smart person would invest.”

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