Push factor: Vancouver home sales fall as taxes on foreign buyers are implemented

Could wealthy would-be buyers be heading for NYC?

Apr.April 15, 2018 03:24 PM

Vancouver. (Credit: JamesZ_Flickr, Pixabay)

The West Coast city’s efforts to stymie demand seem to have worked — at least so far.

Houses in Vancouver are selling at a five-year low with total transactions falling nearly 9 percent in March compared with the month before, according to Bloomberg. Prices, however, still inched up by just over 1 percent compared to February and were up a whopping 16 percent higher than the same month last year.

“We expect this market to begin stabilizing towards the end of the year, or in early-2019,” Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Michael Dolega told his clients.

In February, the provincial government introduced a higher tax on foreign buyers in addition to a levy on unoccupied homes as a means to stop speculative investing and normalize housing prices. One of the key groups affected by the new rules are Chinese home buyers, who were the sources of the majority of foreign investment in the market. Vancouver’s new costs could work to the advantage of other markets, such as New York City, who are facing similar pricing issues by generating more supply. [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson

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