The city’s housing market is among the toughest in the country, with prices set to rise at an annual rate of 10.5 per cent to nearly $1.4 trillion, according to the latest data.
The number of listings has tripled since the beginning of the year, with the average price of a detached home now at $1,879,400.
That’s up more than 25 per cent from a year ago and more than seven times the national average of $1 million.
Many sellers have to be prepared for a bumpy ride.
“We’re dealing with a market that’s been on the back burner for the last couple of years,” said Vancouver real estate broker John Chaney, who helped set up an estate agent in January.
The city is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of sales. “
People are very wary of the market.”
The city is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of sales.
In the past year, Vancouver has seen more than 1.4 million condos sold, an increase of 80 per cent compared to a year earlier.
That compares with an average of around 1,500 sales a year before.
But the number is up for the city’s suburbs.
A total of 3,721 condos have been sold in the city in the past month, up from 1,092 the year before and more new condo units were added than all of the other major Canadian cities combined.
There are some signs that the market is beginning to pick up.
“I think the average selling price has increased to about $1m [and] is now about $2.5m, which is a little bit above the national price of $2m,” said Chaney.
“You’re seeing the pent-up demand.”
The pace of price increases in Vancouver is slowing as the city has been hit by a severe weather event.
The weather event, which affected a number of major metropolitan areas including Victoria, is expected to ease next week and could provide some relief for sales.
But many buyers have still to be convinced that the city is ripe for a major condo boom.
“They’re asking about a $4 million price-point [for a condominium],” said Chandy.
The biggest sellers are probably those who have already paid off their mortgage, he said. “
But the demand is so high, and there is so much competition, the market could easily go up another 10 per cent or more.
In some cases, the new buyers have been able to move into the home without the help of an agent, but in others, they are still having to sell the property. “
There are people who have put in $500,000 or $1-million in their mortgage and they’ve got to take out another $500-and-up and then $1-$2 million in a condo.”
In some cases, the new buyers have been able to move into the home without the help of an agent, but in others, they are still having to sell the property.
Chaney said there are also a number who aren’t ready to sell.
“A lot of people are getting into the market and they’re trying to save up for a down payment,” he said, referring to those who aren, in many cases, on a tight budget.
“But they’re just getting too big.
They’re not getting the mortgage they need.”
Some buyers are moving in as a last resort, such as the young and the elderly.
“As soon as the weather stops, a lot of these older people will have nowhere else to go,” said Chris Miller, a real estate agent who is also president of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
“If they’re getting a downpayment and they can’t afford the $1 or $2 million down payment, then they’ll look for a condo that’s less than $3-million.”
Chaney is also selling condos on the street, where prices are cheaper and they are more likely to sell on a day of the week.
“What we’re seeing is that condo sales are starting to drop off in the evenings and weekends,” he added.
“In the evenings, the sales are really strong.”
With files from The Canadian Press