For the first time, the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) published data on investors and the residential properties they owned in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia for 2020. The proportion of investors in British Columbia came in at 23.3%. Ontario topped the list with the highest rate of condominiums used as an investment at 41.9%. Another interesting study, by Andy Yan of the SFU City Program, found that nearly 50% of owner households are without a mortgage in the City of Vancouver.
That could lend to the fact that new listings are down (lowest levels since 2000), but active listings are up—no rush to sell. The total number of homes currently listed for sale in Greater Vancouver is up 32% compared to January 2022, and 1.3% higher compared to December 2022. Despite the deluge of government policies, many remain eager to buy in high-performing sub-markets throughout Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, with sales more than doubling in the past few weeks. There is a bull rush of activity, but what's keeping prices from declining is that (most) sellers aren't desperate. Low inventory is sparking bidding wars as tenants aim to move into ownership and owners are improving their housing. Those looking for the bottom may very well see it in the rearview mirror.
Right now, some of the best deals are homes that are "back on market". Meaning they were listed cumulatively for an extended period of time and re-listed at significantly lower prices to reflect current conditions. Owners that were trying to capitalize on record price appreciation but have since had to adjust their expectations. As the saying goes, we do not get what we deserve, we get what we negotiate. Homebuyers and investors see 2023 as a "positioning year", as the BC Real Estate Association is forecasting that 2024 will be a "banner year" for residential real estate right across the province.
"More and more workers arriving daily and seeking homes. A check of Real Estate companies shows an appalling scarcity with long waiting lists in each office." — Circa 1940s
Credit: City of Vancouver Archives