Define "crisis" Vancouver: 14,000 homes sold at $966,000 average
July 13, 2018
In the past six months, 14,379 homes have sold in Metro Vancouver at an average price of $966,000.
This is known as a “housing crisis” in Canada’s most expensive and active residential market, according to the RBC Royal Bank and an apparently endless parade of pundits.
“Vancouver is at crisis levels,” RBC said July 2 as it released its annual housing affordability index.
Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets said that government measures such as higher interest rates and punitive taxes will not fix Vancouver’s long-term problem.
"Yes, it is a crisis now, [but] it will be even more significant, and a more severe crisis in the future,” Tal said. He recommends higher supply to keep up with housing demand.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Metro Vancouver continue to happily buy homes—including the 2,450 who bought in June and the 1,452 who purchased in the neighbouring Fraser Valley. The benchmark price for a home in Fraser Valley is $686,800, 12 per cent higher than in June of last year and the second-highest price in Canada.
Rather than a crisis, Metro Vancouver’s housing market could be seen as a hallmark of resilience against near-overwhelming headwinds.
Since January—when tougher lending rules, higher mortgage rates, the mortgage stress-test, a B.C. speculation tax, an empty home tax, a 20% foreign-buyer tax, and a luxury property tax on higher-priced homes have all landed on home buyers—the benchmark price of a Metro Vancouver home has increased nearly 6 per cent and more than 85 homes have sold every day.