Is the Lower Mainland reeling or balancing?

by Neil Sharma30 May 2018

Vancouver’s real estate market is reeling.

Or is it balancing?

“As far as the overall market period for the whole Lower Mainland here, things have quieted down dramatically,” said REMAX sales agent Ron Antalek. “Burnaby is down 48% on the 10-year average, so it’s a very different market than it was in the fall.”

New mortgage lending rules in tandem with provincial government regulation have created a whole new landscape, according to Antalek.

“Unfortunately, we see a combination of the new lending rules implemented January 1 being responsible for that market, but the balance of it seems to be associated a lot with provincial government policy and a lack of confidence. Unfortunately, it’s shaken up the consumer.”

A recent report by Mile Lloyd of Vancouver’s NEWS 1130 stated regulation has actually made housing more expensive.

“You look at

“You look at what the price of housing is and you compare it to what it actually costs to build a house. When there are great big gaps between what it costs and what people end up paying, that tells me there is some pretty serious market dysfunction,” Benjamin Dachis of the CD Howe Institute told NEWS 1130.

“That dysfunction is a result of lack of access to land. When there is a free and open market, developers will keep on increasing supply up until the point which the price for housing just equals what it costs.”

The Lower Mainland condo market is very active, though. Just the B-20 mortgage lending rules dampened Toronto’s detached housing market and sent jilted house hunters scurrying for condos, the Lower Mainland has hot condo and townhome markets.

“Affordability and consumer demand are greatest in the condo and townhouse sector,” said Antalek. “The inventory is continuing to rise because the absorption rate has declined, so there’s great consumer choice with time to think and negotiate. It’s an excellent time for the consumer to buy, and with much more selection. The trend we’ll probably see is maybe a little increase in buyer activity in the coming fall. It’s more of a normalized market, trending towards a buyer’s market in the detached segment.”

 

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