House sales are down, but prices are still going up. That’s the latest message from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, but some analysts suggest the board is presenting an incomplete picture of a market on the decline.
The latest board report suggests the number of sales in the region fell by 26 per cent last month, compared to August 2015. It said the so-called “benchmark price” for all housing types increased by 31.4 per cent to $933,100 from August, 2015. The board suggests that the new foreign buyers tax, which came into effect at the beginning of this August, played at least a small role in cooling the market.
But for real estate consultant Ross Kay, figures like benchmark prices and year-on-year sales comparisons obscure what’s truly happening in Vancouver: the rapid deflation of an overvalued market that had been propped up by foreign buyers.