Vancouver Home Sales Fall 33% in September, Most in Six Years

  • Provincial government introduced 15% foreign buyer tax in July
  • Sales are 9.6% below ten-year average for the month: realtors

Vancouver Tops List of Cities Facing Housing Bubble Risk

Vancouver home sales fell 33 percent in September, the most since 2010, adding to evidence measures taken by the provincial government to curb price gains are working.

Sales in the Pacific coast city dropped to 2,253 in the month, from 3,345 a year earlier, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Tuesday. It was the largest decrease since 2010, and comes after British Columbia imposed a 15 percent tax, which took effect in August, on purchases by foreigners.

Erik Hertzberg/Bloomberg

With Vancouver among global cities most at risk of a housing bubble, according to UBS Group AG, authorities are taking steps to slow the pace of gains. The federal government unveiled new rules on Monday to close a loophole that gave some non-residents a tax break when they sold a home. The changes also tighten mortgage insurance eligibility requirements even for borrowers with large down payments. That follows British Columbia’s new foreign-buyer levy, as well as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s plan for the city to start taxing vacant homes next year.

Sales were also down 9.5 percent on the month, the real estate board said, adding the level dipped below the 10-year monthly average for September for the first time since May 2014. 

The benchmark price for a detached property in Vancouver rose 34 percent in September from the same month last year to C$1.58 million ($1.2 million). Prices for all residential properties in metro Vancouver climbed to C$931,900, a 29 percent increase on the year and a 0.1 percent drop from the prior month.

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