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Greater Vancouver detached house prices have been up and down in recent months, but Vancouver Westside real estate is holding its own. Source: REBGV/CREA

Detached House Market Resilient Despite Worries

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There’s been a lot of talk in recent months regarding the impact of the new stress tests for borrowers, the lingering impact of the heightened property transfer tax on foreign purchasers of residential real estate, and, of course, affordability in general. Vancouver’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters touted the city’s “wide variety of affordable housing options,” and boasted that Vancouver has three times the number of homes for sale under US$500,000 that Seattle does.

Vancouver Westside real estate seems to be holding its own amid the ups, downs and sideway glances the broader market is experiencing. There’s no doubt that tougher qualification rules are keeping some buyers out of the market. The latest monthly report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver indicates that there are 8% fewer properties for sale in the region than a year ago.

But when you look at Vancouver Westside activity in January for each of the past three years, the market for detached homes has been largely resilient. The data is surprising.


The market in Dunbar is slow, some property owners have told me. But the number of active listings and properties sold in January 2016 was 126, compared to 117 in January 2018. This amounts to a drop of 7%. But what was the impact on median price? It increased 3% to $4.3 million, suggesting that things are not as bad as they seem.


Kitsilano detached homes saw a modest downturn, with the number of properties in play dropping from 55 two years ago to 50 in January 2018. The slowdown happened entirely in the past year, however. Property values reflect the shift. The median price rose 13% between January 2016 and January 2017 before retreating 3% to $3.3 million in January 2018.

Point Grey

Similar to Kitsilano, Point Grey saw listings decline slightly over the past year. Prices have followed suit. The median price of a detached home in Point Grey in January 2018 was $4.4 million, down 2% from a year earlier.


The neighbourhood to see the sharpest correction in detached home values has been UBC. While listings have held their own, the median price of listed properties has dropped from 13% from a year ago to $7.3 million. This is also below the January 2016 median price of $7.7 million. Still, owners continue to list, and the selection hasn’t changed much over the period.

The numbers show that even though a Vancouver Westside detached house still costs millions of dollars, efforts to rein in prices haven’t daunted either buyers or sellers. Right now, there are about 240 active listings across all four neighbourhoods. To find one that’s right for you, drop a line!

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