We knew there was going to be a sharp turn in the market coming into 2018 and now the numbers reflect it: the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has just reported that July’s residential housing sales in Metro Vancouver reached their lowest levels for that month since the year 2000. Without a doubt, this has something to do with the Foreign Buyers Tax and the Additional Property Transfer Tax for Foreign Nationals. But what you probably didn't know is that our friends South of the border are experiencing the same cool down in their housing market.
Seattle has been one of the hottest markets in America and one of the greatest beneficiaries of recent Chinese buyers, thanks to hopeful Chinese families and investors wishing to send their kids to America for higher education. The Seattle market got even hotter when Vancouver slapped on the 20% Foreign Buyers Tax and the additional Property Transfer Tax. However, the recent fall in value of the Chinese Yuan (against the US dollar) has made it more expensive for Chinese foreigners to invest in stateside property. Cooling the market down even further are the many restrictions on moving money out of China; rules are tightening up in the East with no end in sight. Stephen Saunders with Coldwell Banker Seattle says of Chinese investors in the Seattle market: "It's drying up. I just don't see the same kind of volume. The downtown Seattle condo market has come to a grinding halt, and that's where Chinese buyers were."
It's somewhat comforting to know that we're not the only ones experiencing this kind of slow-down in the housing market. But this slow-down (or rather, drying up of foreign buyers) gives local residents here in the Lower Mainland a glimmer of hope. "With fewer buyers active in today's market, we're seeing less upward pressure on home prices across the region," Phil Moore, REBGV president said. Perhaps there will be some price correction, long hoped for by locals but most buyers are adopting the wait-and-see approach. Only time will tell!
If you're curious about where the market is headed or want some details on how your house may sell in the near future, contact us! We'd be happy to help!