Hundreds of expensive condos coming onto downtown Vancouver market in next three years

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      In a recent webinar, a Vancouver housing-market data cruncher suggested there might be a "gap in supply" for condos through 2023.

      The senior economist at rennie intelligence, Ryan Berlin, pointed out that there were about 100 "market launches" in 2019

      "We're currently tracking at about the same rate," he added.

      Berlin also noted that in the downtown core, there is no unsold new inventory in 2020.

      But next year, he said that there could be 186 unsold units out of 815 completing at various price points—"if nothing else sold between now and then".

      They include three units in the hybrid-timber Terrace House at 1250 West Hastings.

      According to a chart he posted during the presentation, these will be the most expensive in the downtown core in 2021, at $2,605 per square foot.

      Berlin's chart also showed 78 units at the Pacific by Grosvenor priced at $2,171 per square foot.

      The next most pricey were 78 units at 1335 Howe Street, selling at $2,029 per square foot.

      They were followed by 21 units at the Mirabel at 1283 Davie Street at $1,850 per square foot. Two units at the Smithe at 885 Cambie Street were identified at $1,516 per square foot.

      The most affordable were 14 units in 8X on the Park at 1111 Richards Street at $1,470 per square foot.

      In 2022, Berlin's chart showed another 53 unsold completing condos, bringing the year-end total to 239, provided none of the new product was purchased before then. They included 38 units at 1818 Alberni Street at 2,400 per square foot and 17 units in the Sparrow at 239 Keefer Street at $1,339 per square foot.

      Then in 2023, another 94 unsold completing units would lift the year-end built and unsold new inventory to 333 units downtown. 

      These could include 25 units in the Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street at $3,005 per square foot and 69 units at the Landmark on Robson at $3,300 per square foot.

      "But of course, we're looking at a recovery that might, you know, extend out 24 months," Berlin said. "Between now and 2023, a lot can change, so we don't expect there to be 330 homes available." 

      However, if the economy doesn't pick up steam as quickly as developers might like after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, there still could be some very expensive condos sitting vacant for a while in downtown Vancouver.

      In 2019, there was a record 28,141 housing starts in the region, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

      That was comprised of 21,321 condos, 3,426 single-family homes, 2,864 townhomes, and 530 semi-detached units.

      The largest number of units—6,823—were in Vancouver. Prior to the pandemic being declared on March 11, it was expected that 2020 would be another strong year for housing starts.