What is Vancouver's real estate forecast?
With over three decades as a top Vancouver Realtor, I have seen our city grow from a small town to a small city. Its real estate has ridden the roller coaster but in the long run it is always up. I don't see this changing any time soon.
Metro Vancouver's real estate listings hit a ten year high after the Wall Street crash of 2008 but dipped in 2009 due to lower interest rates. Listings soard again after the 2010 Olympics, as sellers tried to cash in on the hype the Olympics generated for our city. Property listings dropped in 2011 but peaked again in 2012, due to Ottawa tightening the mortgage qualifying rules,and have been on a downhill slide since, currently at a ten year low. This has resulted in most properties selling above list price with multiple offers.
Many factors have come together at the same time to create high demand for Vancouver real estate. According to the Conference Board of Canada Metro Vancouver will be the fastest growing metropolitan economy in the country again in 2016, with economic growth above 3%.
Building projects such as the Trump Tower condo building, together with other non-residential projects are responsible for our fast growing constructiion sector.
Many IT companies have recently opened in Vancouver, creating jobs and a demand for Vancouver real estate apartments
The rental vacancy rate is currently below 1%, rents and are soaring. This scenario is not expected to change as the real estate developers are building condo buildings and not rental buildings. This motivates renters to consider buying. Many go to the Bank of Mum for the downpayment.
The falling Canadian dollar is setting tourism and manufacturing records and making it attractive to invest in Vancouver real estate, proving attractive for Europeans and Americans. Then there's the Mainland Chinese who have been investing in Vancouver for some years. It appears that whether China's economy is good or bad the money keeps flowing out.
The return the Canadian Banks are giving on deposits has motivated many local investors to move their money into real estate.
Another less known factor is the decline in the value of commodities which is resulting in people from small BC towns to move to Metro Vancouver. The pine beetle infestion has resulted in a lower volume of harvestable timber.
Net migration into Metro Vancouver continues to be 40,000-50,000 per year. So we have a growing population and a shortage of land - the city is hemmed in by the mountains to the north, the Pacfic Ocean to the west and the USA border is only 20 miles south, resulting in growth to the East or rezoning for higher buildings and rezoning of single family dwellings into multiple family dwellings.
Sixty per cent of all British Columbians live in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. This is up from 54% in 1994. Toronto accommodates 44% of Ontario's population.
If the BC Government is successful in establishing an LNG industry in northern BC, this will create more jobs and generate serious income for the Government into the future.
Vancouver has had many awards for being one of the most liveable cities in the world. It's a waterfront city boasting amazing geographical beauty and a great quality of life, resulting in its real estate increasing in desirability, both locally and internationally, for a long time yet.
Personally I believe it is developing into a mini London.