Vancouver in August

Mid August Vancouver Real Estate Update

Steve Saretsky -

The Tale of Two Markets- A Year After the Foreign Buyers Tax

Although I normally don’t like to look too much at mid month numbers, the heavily requested mid month market update is back. Like i’ve been saying for awhile, it’s a tale of two markets. The detached and condo markets appear to be going in very opposite directions. Sales have had a decent uptick from August 2016 but keep in mind that was the first month of the foreign buyers tax, a move that stunned the market.

Vancouver Detached Market

Vancouver detached sales through the first 15 days of August hit 74 total sales. This was good for a 25% increase compared to last year. However, it was still the third lowest totals in the past decade. Sales continue to putter along, dragging it’s feet, particularly in the Luxury real estate market where sales have plunged 27%.

New listings have also dropped in the first few weeks but appear to be settling in right around it’s ten year average.

August Detached Sales Vancouver
Vancouver Detached Sales Tracking Higher than August 2016.

Vancouver Townhouse Market

Townhouse sales are also on the upswing. This is partly attributed to new inventory hitting the market. Vancouver townhouse sales jumped from 24 sales in August 2016 to 41 this year. New listings picked up by 5%.

Vancouver townhouse sales vs new listings
Vancouver townhouse new listings increase 5% compared to August 2016.

Vancouver Condo Market

As I mentioned in my latest Vancouver Condo Report, sales remain quite strong amidst record low inventory. In July, 49% of Vancouver condos sold over asking price. Here we can see sales are trending higher than in August, 2016 while new listings have dropped.

Condo sales vs new listings
Condo sales trending higher than August, 2016.


The important distinction here is that we are comparing the same time period to last years historical announcement of a 15% foreign buyers tax. Sales unsurprisingly are higher this year as buyers have now digested the tax. With that being said, sales continue to trend below normal levels in the detached market. Little relief appears on the horizon for prospective condo buyers.

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The Canadian Economy

Steve Saretsky -

Happy Monday Morning! We got a string of new data this past week confirming inflation in consumer goods, and housing are proving to be more than transitory. Canada’s consumer price index continued to drift higher with prices hitting an 18 year high, up 4.7% from last October. The recent floods in BC...

Steve Saretsky -

The calls for impending interest rate hikes continues. CIBC’s chief economist, Benjamin Tal, was out recently suggesting the Bank of Canada could hike its benchmark interest rate at least six times beginning in early 2022. “I think there is a risk of getting into the market at today’s rates,” noted Tal....

Steve Saretsky -

The BC Government announced it is looking at several cooling measures for the housing market in 2022. They have highlighted two measures. The first is an end to the blind bidding process, and the other is a mandatory “cooling off period” which will allow any buyer a 7 day recession...

Steve Saretsky -

The Bank of Canada continues to slowly drain liquidity after flooding the system with a firehose of cash during the pandemic. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem announced the end of Canada’s QE program (also known as money printing). Furthermore, in Macklems words, “We expect to begin increasing our policy...

Steve Saretsky -

Consumer price inflation ripped higher in September, surging 4.4% year-over-year, the fastest pace of price increases in 18 years. Let’s discuss this further. We have an inflation problem and the Bank of Canada remains of the view that inflation will be transitory. Although they really can’t say otherwise, for if...

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The Saretsky Report. December 2022