October 2016 Residential Real estate Review

Greater Vancouver housing prices may prove resilient in spite of government intervention intended to cool the market and moderate price increases. Interfering in free market dynamics seldom has the desired effect long-term. At any rate, here is a brief synopsis of what has happened in residential real estate in the month of October 2016.

Detached Homes, Listings (1 mo. chg) / Sales (1 mo. chg)

Vancouver East: 233 (-21.3%) / 65 (+4.8%)

Vancouver West: 163 (-34.8%) / 78 (+30%)

Burnaby: 160 (-12.6%) / 44 (-24.1%)

North Vancouver: 156 (-27.4%) / 61 (+15.1%)

Remember the context, if we compare the number of sales for the three-month period from August through October 2016 to the same period in 2015 we see significant drops in buyer activity in all areas of Greater Vancouver (between 47% and 58% for the four areas listed above).

Also note, while the benchmark price index for detached homes shows a small seasonal drop (under 2%) in these areas, the October 2016 year-over-year price changes still show increases in the 25% to 35% range.

Will the government intervention have a lasting effect on home prices in Greater Vancouver? As long as Canada continues to attract population growth people need homes and they will prioritize this need to build families. Canada is a very big country and continues to build its population by welcoming immigration from around the world, just as it has from its beginning. Real estate value will continue to be driven by supply and demand, in my opinion.