According to the REBGV News Release, home sales in Greater Vancouver last month were 56% above the 10-year sales average for the month.
“March was the highest selling month the REBGV has ever recorded,” Dan Morrison, REBGV president said. “Today’s demand is broad based. Home buyers are active in neighbourhoods across our region.”
“Strong job and economic growth in our province, positive net migration and low interest rates are helping to drive this activity,” Morrison said.
Ottawa is spending $500,000 to help understand the role of foreign homebuyers in the country’s housing market.
The cash in the federal budget is going to Statistics Canada to help develop methods for gathering data on home purchases by foreign buyers.
The government says comprehensive and reliable data on the number of homes sold to foreign buyers does not exist right now.
The plan may involve collaboration with the provinces, including British Columbia, which recently announced plans to have homebuyers disclose whether they are citizens or permanent residents of Canada or another country.
Many believe the Vancouver housing market has charged ahead in recent years due to an influx of wealthy foreign buyers.
But according to Bob Rennie of Rennie Marketing, Vancouverites over 55 years of age are sitting on billions of real estate. They bought their homes decades ago and now they are getting ready to retire. They sell their multi-million dollar homes and downsize to high end luxury condos within Greater Vancouver (vs. the trend of moving to the suburbs before). These older local homeowners will have money leftover to help their children or grandchildren buy their first homes. According to stats by RBC, over 55% of first time home buyers have help with their downpayment from relatives.
In addition, due to the drop in oil prices, a lot of people are moving from Alberta to BC in search for jobs.
Bob Rennie reminded us to look at the whole Greater Vancouver when raising questions about affordability and sustainability. He said there are no more land to build within the desirable Vancouver Westside but we still have a lot of options outside of Vancouver.