Vancouver is a coastal city on the mainland of British Columbia. The city is bounded to the north by English Bay and the Burrard Inlet and to the south by the Fraser River. On the east, Vancouver is confined to the City of Burnaby and the Strait of Georgia to the west. The City is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Georgia. Vancouver is not like any other city. You can see water or mountains or both all over the city and everyone looks so healthy here. The northern municipalities of Greater Vancouver including West Vancouver and the city of North Vancouver are located on the steep southern slopes of the North Shore Mountains. Grouse Mountain, one of the favorite destinations of the Vancouver with plenty of attractions and activities, located in the District Municipality of North Vancouver, Just 15 minutes away from Vancouver downtown. Vancouver was announced, for a couple of years, in the list of top three cities in the world in Global Liveability Ranking published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The City of Vancouver is also the top North American city on the list, for the past decade. Some believe that Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North Vancouver. Mark Jones writes: “Everyone wants a part of Vancouver: families from Shanghai, high-achievers from Mumbai, film-makers from LA, CGI designers from London – and anyone in Canada who is a bit fed up with the cold. No Ontario blizzards, no LA smog, no Hong Kong chaos. Just mountains, sea, big skies and wide streets”. That is why many people from other cities in Canada or even from other nationalities chose Vancouver for their holiday vacations or as their home town.
The City of Vancouver had a population of 672,963, at the end of the year 2018, is the most populated city in the province of British Columbia and the 8th largest city in Canada after cities of Edmonton, Mississauga and Winnipeg. However, the City of Vancouver, having an area of 114.97 km2, has the highest population density (5,400 people per square kilometer) in Canada and the fifth in North America among the cities of over 250,000 population.
The Greater Vancouver area or Metro Vancouver comprising of 23 cities and areas have a population of about 2.65 million (2018), making it the third most populated metropolitan area in Canada. The cities and areas in the Metro Vancouver district include Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, Delta, North Vancouver, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Langley, White Rock, Pitt Meadows, Electoral Area A, Bowen Island, Anmore, Lions Bay, Tsawwassen, and Belcarra, sorted based on their populations. European Canadian with 48.6% and Chinese with 19.6% are the two biggest population groups in Greater Vancouver.
Data science team of Roomvu has analyzed the MLS housing data for Metro Vancouver and summarized some findings here. The Average House (Detached Property) sale and list price in Metro Vancouver in the first four months of 2019 is about $1.6M and $2.0M respectively. This has resulted in a 20% price change or discount when a seller sells his house to the buyer. This change is much higher than the one for Townhouses and Condos - or apartments (10% and 13% price change). The average Townhouse sold price this year has reached to $880K and the one for Condos to $660K in the market.
A comparison of housing prices in the years 2018 and 2019 shows that the market price is still going down in the current year so that the average 2018 house price of $1.7 Million has dropped about 4% to about $1.6 Million. The townhouse and condo average prices have also dropped from about $920K and $710K in 2018 to about $880K (4% drop) and $660K (7% drop) in 2019. It seems that in 2019 Vancouver housing market, real sellers are adjusting their prices down to be able to sell their property in a buyer’s market.
These drops in price are taking place knowing that the 2019 housing prices are still much higher than the average in the past decade. Having the average 10 past years prices and comparing that to 2019, also shows that the housing price is still about 25-35% higher in 2019. Do the prices still going down in the future months, becoming even closer to its past decade average?
The housing market dwindle in 2019 has affected the number of days a listing requires to be sold (Days On Market - DOM). In 2019, the houses and townhouses, by average, stay 50 and 42 days on the market before being sold. This is an 8 and 9 days increase compared to the 2018 average values. For the condos, however, the differences are even higher. Now, it takes an apartment 37 days to be sold while it was only 24 days (13 days less) in 2018.
It seems that unlike the past years, condo buyers/sellers are not able to find/sell their apartment with a suitable price in the market. Compared to the first two types of housing buyers (Houses and Townhouses), the younger home buyers affording for less expensive condos and apartments, still need to pass the new requirements of mortgage stress test policy. Both 7 percent drop in condos price from 2018 to 2019 and 13 days higher Days On Market (DOM) of apartments in the current year might be signs of the fact that the buyers of less expensive dwelling type are being affected by the recent regulations and policies more than buyers of two other housing types in the Greater Vancouver area.