Christy Clark Government's Foregin Buyers' Tax Working Beautifully As Detached home Sales Down 48 Percent
A total of 2,253 properties changed hands in September, a decrease of 32.6 per cent from the sales recorded in the same month a year ago. The number is more dramatic when you look at detached home sales: just 666 homes were sold in September, a decrease of 47.6 per cent compared to September 2015.
By PD Raj
VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark's foreign buyers tax is working beautifully as property sales in Metro Vancouver plummeted by nearly one-third in September, and prices even saw a very slight decline although remaining still very high, according to new figures released by the Greater Vancouver real estate board this week.
A total of 2,253 properties changed hands in September, a decrease of 32.6 per cent from the sales recorded in the same month a year ago.
It's also down 9.5 per cent compared to just two months ago, when comparing sales figures from August.
The number is more dramatic when you look at detached home sales: just 666 homes were sold in September, a decrease of 47.6 per cent compared to September 2015.
Meanwhile NDP leader John Horgan criticized Clark, saying the Premier and the B.C. Liberals created the crisis in housing affordability by doing absolutely nothing for two years except deny that families were caught in a housing crisis, and in that time, the cost of a home rose by more than $600,000.
“B.C. New Democrats and the BC Chamber of Commerce first raised alarms about the distorting effect of offshore real estate speculators on our housing market back in June 2014, when the benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver was $976,700,” said Horgan.
“The benchmark price climbed past $1 million in 2015, and was moving sharply upward in May 2015, when Premier Clark’s housing minister told people that he thought prices were still ‘reasonable’, and dismissed affordability as an issue.
“One month later, in June 2015, as prices kept shooting up, Premier Christy Clark continued to deny that there was a problem for B.C. families trying to find an affordable home, and said publicly that people unable to afford a home in the Lower Mainland should think about moving north to Fort St. John.”
Horgan said that it wasn’t until July 2016, when the benchmark price had climbed to $1,578,300, that Premier Clark finally admitted that people were facing a crisis in affordability and imposed a sudden tax on foreign buyers.
“By the time Premier Christy Clark was willing to admit she had stood by while this crisis escalated, the benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver had skyrocketed by more than $600,000, pricing an entire generation of young B.C. families out of their own housing market.
“A recent survey of people in Metro Vancouver found that two thirds of residents don’t think that they will ever be able to afford a home in Christy Clark’s B.C.,” said Horgan.
“I believe it’s very important that people understand that the premier deliberately ignored the concerns of economic experts, B.C. New Democrats, and thousands of people who called out to her for help as prices rocketed out of reach for an entire generation of British Columbians.
“Premier Christy Clark was served warning of this coming crisis more than two years ago. She chose to do absolutely nothing for two whole years, until a full-on crisis forced her to act. The premier’s reluctant and sudden tax has done nothing to make housing more affordable for young families.
“Today, we’re in the middle of a perfect storm of unaffordability for B.C. families. If Premier Christy Clark had taken action at any point over the past two years, housing would be more affordable today, the real estate market would not be the unpredictable, volatile market it is today, and the dream of home ownership would be a lot closer for thousands of British Columbians.”
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales dipped below the 10-year average for the first time since May 2014.
Board President Dan Morrison said the demand for condominiums and town-homes in the region is currently higher than single-family homes.
That could be owing to a lack of inventory: The total number of homes listed in the region is down 13.4 per cent compared to September 2015.
The sales-to-listings ratio last month hit 24.1 per cent, the lowest it's been since February 2015.
Morrison said while it's unlikely to see prices drop until the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, "changing market conditions" are easing price increases on home prices in the region.
“There’s uncertainty in the market at the moment and home buyers and sellers are having difficulty establishing price as a result," he said in a statement.
The benchmark home price in the region sits at $931,000, which is up 28.9 per cent compared to a year ago, but down 0.1 per cent since August.
That price rises to $1.579M if looking at single-family residences.