According to Sotheby's International Realty Canada's 2017 Year-End Top-Tier Real Estate Report, Canada's top-tier real estate market, anchored by strong local and national economic fundamentals, held steadfast in face of extreme changes brought about by housing and mortgage policy shifts, rising interest rates, tightening mortgage lending policies, and transnational political and economic headwinds in 2017.
In Vancouver, the lull in top-tier sales activity following the August 2016 introduction of the 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers bagan to recover in the latter half of 2017. Overall, $1 million-plus residential real estate sales decreased 5% from 2016 and luxury real estate sales over $4 million fell 33%, a result of the disconect between prospective buyers with expectations of price adjustments in a calmer market and sellers maintaining high selling price goals. Over the year, the city's unrelenting $1 million-plus condominium market surpassed previous records with a 27% year-over-year increase in sales volume.
Strong economic fundamentals and appeal as one of the world's most livable cities continue to stabilize Vancouver's top-tier market as it veered in two separate directions in 2017.
- The city's $1 million-pls condominium market set new records with a 27% increase to 1,285 units sold. $1 million-plus attached home sales increased 13% year-over-year to 690 units sold.
- Conversely, single family homes sales over $1 million saw a slowdown in 2017, falling 20% from 2016 levels to 2,307 homes sold in 2017. The most significant adjustment was in the $4 million-plus luxury single family home market, where 336 units sold in 2017, a 35% reduction from 2016.
- Overall, $1 million-plus residential real estate sales (condominiums, attached and single family homes) held firm with a 5% decline to 4,282 properties sold in 2017.
- The effects of the 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers, as well as other policy measures, began to wane in the latter half of 2017, pointing to renewed stability in 2018.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this report references MLS board market data. Sotheby's International Realty Canada cautions that MLS market data can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby's International Realty Canada or Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on, or reference to the contents of this report.