The last few months of 2016 were slow for Vancouver real estate, but it looks like the market is making a triumphant return, and bringing with it a proportional number of foreign buyers. The BC Ministry of Finance transfer tax data shows solid growth from foreign buyers. Despite this growth, domestic transactions increased by so much it still remained a fairly small segment of buyers.
Number of Transactions With Foreign Buyers Up 68%
The number of real estate transactions involving foreign nationals was up in May. The month saw 436 transactions, a 68% increase from the month prior. While that does seem like large growth, the general market saw a massive 14,824 sales. This leaves the total number of foreign buyers still relatively low, at 2.82% of the total market.
Average Price Fell, Median Price Rose
Foreign buyers went after less expensive homes, but the floor of which they bought came up. The average purchase prices of a home fell to $855,646, a 22% decline from the month prior. The median value rose to $575,000, a 20.7% increase from the month before. Kind of confusing, but the read here is that the gap between the highest and lowest price of homes being bought are coming closer for foreign buyers.
Greatest Growth Was In The $1-3 Million Price Range
Breaking down Vancouver’s foreign buyers by pricing bands gives us a little more insight into the market. There were 348 transactions under a million dollars, a 69% increase from the month prior. 75 sales were between $1 and $3 million, a 78% growth from the month before. 13 sales were over $3 million, an 8.3% increase from the month before. The largest growth was in mid-priced (for Vancouver) purchases, but all ranges grew fairly consistently.
Sure, the number of foreign real estate buyers in Vancouver increased, but still remained a small segment in contrast to the total market. Not sure what’s worse: the fact that foreign buying doubled in one month, or the fact that domestic buying increased by so much in a month that it made the massive foreign buying increase almost not noticeable. Wonder how many of these domestic buyers were from the BC government’s subprime lending scheme?
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