Vancouver's West Side real estate market experiencing major slowdown

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      A chart on a local real-estate agent's website tells the story of a sharply slowing housing market.

      Citing Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver statistics, Andrew Hasman & Associates is reporting that only 33 single-family houses have been sold on the West Side this year.

      That's down from 94 sales last year, or 65 percent.

      The average length of time for these sales was 44 days, up from 35 days last year.

      There's also a 21.48-month supply of homes on the market on the West Side, up from a 6.04-month supply last year.

      It has all the earmarks of a housing market ready to go into decline.

      But for some reason, the average price of a West Side house this year still remains significantly higher than last year: $4.108 million to $3.745 million.

      It's a similar story with West Side condos. The number of units sold has fallen 33 percent and there's 2.71 months worth of supply, up from 1.82 months last year.

      Yet the average price has risen from $960,898 to $1.13 million.

      Sales volumes of East Side houses and condos are also down over last year, 55 percent and 15 percent respectively.

      But prices are significantly higher.

      This data doesn't take into account the B.C. NDP government's incoming speculation tax or the increase in the foreign-buyers' tax.

      In the meantime, Finance Minister Carole James is on the receiving end of massive criticism from the B.C. Liberals, B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver, and organizations across the province because of a new payroll tax, which is replacing revenue lost by the cancellation of medical services premiums.

      That's likely to lead to job losses at small businesses and nonprofit groups that didn't previously pay their employees' premiums.

      The B.C. Liberals were elected in 2001 after denouncing the so-called "decade of decline" when the NDP was in power in the 1990s.

      Don't be surprised to see new B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson start reviving that phrase in connection to what's could soon occur in the housing and job markets.

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