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The Real Estate Landscape in Vancouver

While the Canadian real estate community has been keeping a close eye on the drastic shifts in the Toronto housing market, the landscape in Vancouver is whole different story. Many analysts have been arguing that the downturn for the Toronto market is a result of the 15% tax that the Ontario government imposed on sales of properties in the Golden Horseshoe area to foreign prospectors. Interestingly, this is a measure that British Columbia employed several years ago. It should be noted by those with ties to the Toronto real-estate market that the Vancouver housing market has recovered and risen over the past few years in the wake of the foreign investment tax.

These days, the problem in Vancouver (if you can even call it a problem) has less to do with detached houses and more to do with condos and townhouses – broadly classified as attached homes. It seems that young professionals were so turned off by the notoriously pricey Vancouver housing market that those who could afford a place turned to the more practical option of a condo. In the ensuing years, the condo and townhouse market has been pinched by a higher demand. If there is a housing bubble in Vancouver today, it has more to do with attached properties than actual houses.

If you’re a real estate agent in Vancouver and you’re used to dealing in houses, now might be the time to work your network and figure out how to pick up some condo listings. If you’re concerned that transitioning from one market to the other will affect your income, you could always learn about commission advances – a great tool for securing a commission before a deal is officially closed.

In the surrounding area of Vancouver, in places like Langley and Surrey, the market is growing as well. The populations of these suburban areas don’t even necessarily commute to Vancouver since the advent of massive industrial parks have opened up job markets in unlikely places. The Vancouver Sky Train network, which is much more far reaching and user friendly than Toronto’s TTC, can help people commute if need be, which makes it more attractive to live outside of the expensive city. Furthermore, the area surrounding Vancouver is dense with trees and beautiful mountains; not such a bad prospect if life in the noisy city turns you off.

To recap, the condo and townhouse market in Vancouver is definitely a seller’s market at the moment. The market for detached houses is still growing, but almost imperceptibly; compared to developments elsewhere in Canada, it is virtually at a standstill. Analysts have also argued that the rise of housing prices in Vancouver is driving people to move to the surrounding area: Victoria, Vancouver Island and The Sunshine Coast. This may be fallacious, there’s always been a certain amount of bleed and these destinations possess charms that are difficult to deny.

The Millennial generation typically prefers to live in big cities, even if it means living in a condo, so it doesn’t seem like Vancouver is in any danger of witnessing a mass exodus in the coming years. If its housing market maintains its stable course and rate of growth, maybe it could teach Toronto a thing or two.

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