The Saretsky Report. April 2019

Steve Saretsky -

The month of April turned out to be another disappointing month for home sales activity across Vancouver. Sales in the city of Vancouver fell 27.6% year-over-year in April to their lowest count for the month since the year 2000. As we have stressed in previous reports, real housing downturns are generally more prolonged than most market participants would come to believe and this one is certainly shaping up to be no different. Through the first four months of this year, year to date sales are off to their lowest count in three decades. That alone should turn heads, particularly since we’ve added nearly a million people since. As a result, we are seeing inventory grow and prices move lower across all segments. Buyers have become increasingly hesitant, particularly for unbuilt product such as pre sale condo assignments and new unfinished development in general. This is prompting condo developers to increase bonuses and incentives as unsold inventory beings to pile up at presale centres across the lower mainland. While policy makers remain intent on their desire to keep new lending in check this is impacting the national housing market, with the national home price index dipping into negative territory for the first time in a decade. Recently, Bank of Canada Governor called housing “a persistent issue” within the central Bank after having to recently adjust GDP forecasts lower from 1.7% to 1.2% for 2019. So what does this all mean moving forward? Lets discuss.

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