Vancouver’s luxury real estate market is expected to get a boost this fall after prolonged uncertainty, even though sales above $1 million were low in the first half of September.
The top-tier market started to turn around this summer, according to a Sotheby’s International Realty forecast, after a decrease of 33 per cent year over year in the first half of 2019.
And while preliminary market data shows a 27-per-cent year-over-year pullback in sales above $1 million in the first 15 days of September, Sotheby’s forecasts a gradual, albeit tenuous market recovery throughout the rest of fall.
The real estate sales and marketing company said sales of condominiums, attached and single-family homes higher than $1 million increased 25 per cent from July and August 2018 levels, to 564 properties sold.
During the same time, sales between $1 million to $2 million increased 30 per cent to 411 properties, and sales between $2 million and $4 million increased 26 per cent to 132 units.
However, the luxury $4-million market in Vancouver remained soft. Sales above $4 million actually declined 32 per cent, to 21 units sold in July and August 2019.
After gains made in the summer, and despite sales being down in the first half of the month, Sotheby’s said pent-up demand is expected to release into new activity and housing prices are expected to continue to drop to match current conditions.
For example, benchmark prices for single-family homes receded 11 per cent in August to $1,346,500 in Vancouver East and 12 per cent in Vancouver West to $2,880,800. Sotheby’s said this repositioned the homes as viable alternatives to higher-density options for some top-tier buyers and investors.
The forecast also cited year-over-year employment growth in Vancouver as a reason for market recovery.
The leading Canadian housing market in the forecast was the Greater Toronto Area.
Significant increases were experienced in the GTA across every housing type, Sotheby’s said, as condominium, attached and single-family home sales above $1 million rose 13 per cent, 45 per cent and 29 per cent from 2018 levels, respectively.
Preliminary sales figures for the first 15 days of September also suggest robust fall activity ahead, as overall $1 million-plus sales surged 53 per cent year-over-year, and sales higher than $4 million rose 75 per cent.