As predicted following the surge in Westside detached house sales through the final weeks of 2019 – sales in the fourth quarter were 36% higher than a year earlier – the number of new listings increased in January. During the first month of the year 143 listings for detached houses were added, the highest level in three months. Sales, however, returned to a more traditional January pace with the 35 transactions down 16.7% from January 2019 and lower than the 59 sales seen in a surprisingly strong December.
The Eastside detached house market began a remarkable sales improvement late last year, with sales in the fourth-quarter of 2019 soaring nearly 70% above the same level a year earlier. Prices increased from the third-quarter and by year-end were within 3% of the value a year earlier. The momentum continued in January, with sales up 31% from January 2019 and prices up 3.4% from three months earlier. In all, the stage is set for not a much more balanced detached housing market on the Eastside in 2020.
Aside from knowing they are helping to ease the rental shortage, Vancouver condo investors can also be assured they are making a wise investment. In the past five years, the price of a typical condominium apartment in Metro Vancouver has increased by nearly 70%. As of January, the benchmark price of a Vancouver condo was 20% higher than in 2017, just before the provincial and federal governments, and the city, launched a series of policies aimed at driving all home sales down (which of course increased demand and the price of rentals). January condo prices were up 2% from a month earlier. There is no lack of tenants, with a 0.3% rental vacancy rate for condo rentals, despite an average condo rent of more than $2,200 in the city. So here is the plan: buy one Vancouver condo for yourself and one for rental market. You will reap the benefits of steady rental income and asset appreciation and know you are doing your bit to ease the rental crisis.
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