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Vancouver land rush over as Metro housing market slows

By Peter Mitham for Business in Vancouver

All signs point to the end of the residential land rush in the Lower Mainland – though Michael Ferreira of market research firm Urban Analytics Inc. didn’t use those exact words in his presentation last week to the Urban Development Institute (UDI).

Toronto real estate consultantcy Altus Group Ltd. reports that Metro Vancouver residential land deals worth $1 million and up stayed even at $2.9 billion in the first six months of both 2017 and 2018. The number of transactions in the period increased by five, from 438 last year to 443 in 2018.

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The value was enough to make land deals the top asset class for investment, but Ferreira drilled down into the trends for residential sites and pointed to lower values and volumes.

Vancouver, for instance, saw 17 fewer land transactions in 2018’s first eight months versus the same period a year ago. The deals totalled 22% less than those in 2017. North Vancouver saw an even more dramatic drop, with 42 fewer land deals and a 57% drop in the aggregate value.

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