According to Emerging Trends in Canadian Real Estate 2017 by PwC Canada
“Vancouver is expected to lead all Canadian cities with 3.3% in GDP growth in 2017 propelled by strong employment gains and rousing housing starts.”
The article goes on to say that most of this growth will be in multifamily and high-density condos. Uncertainty over the affects of the provincial government's property transfer tax (PTT) and foreign buyers tax (FBT) will impact the market in the long term. Rental properties close to amenities such as transportation will continue to be in great demand especially by the millennials as evident by vacancy rates already hovering at or below 1%.
Meanwhile, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) prefers to hedge its bets and consider possible outcomes depending on the performance of key variables such as provincial economic performance, the impact of the PTT and FBT, low interest rates, population growth and employment growth. Basically, CHMC doesn't want to take a firm stand on forecasting real estate trends because these variables are simply too unpredictable. Wise position!
I've already written about the international nature of the Vancouver housing market and the tremendous affect other government's policies have on our relatively humble market. Policies of the Chinese, Americans, Europeans and non-governmental organizations like the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR which serves as the first step to calculating interest rates on various loans throughout the world) can all impact our market directly and indirectly. But let's see how the Vancouver housing market stats stack up so far in 2017.
~Sales of residential properties for January 2017 in Vancouver were down 39.5% compared to sales in January, 2016. (Specifically, Detached homes down 57.6% and Apartments down 24.7%).
~Listings for detached homes, townhouses and condos was down 6.8% compared to January, 2016.
~The number of active listings is up by 9.1% compared to January of 2016 which means sales are slower.
~Active-to Sales listing ratio for January 2017 was 21%. This is the lowest it's been since January 2015.
~Sales down 27.1% (detached homes down 54.3%, 22.9% drop in town houses BUT 42.3% increase in condo sales over January of 2016.)
~Listings down 69%
~Detached home prices were up 24.3%, townhouses up 27.6% and condos up 26% compared to January of 2016.
The Fraser Valley had its busiest year ever in real estate in 2016. Unlike the Vancouver market, in the Fraser Valley prices are continuing to rise.
Vancouver is not off to a great start but it's coming down from an incredible high. The Fraser Valley's more affordable price points continue to show significant strength. Historically, the Vancouver market is the epicentre of change, so if this trend continues expect the Fraser Valley market to eventually follow suit.