A bank economist recently noted that the Canadian housing market has “pulled back from astronomical levels”.
To put things in context, Robert Kavcic of BMO wrote in a May 17 analysis that although sales in April fell from March, transactions last month were 45 percent above the 10-year average.
In addition, Kavcic stated that “prices continue to run”, with benchmark prices up 23 percent year-over-year.
The BMO economist also wrote that readers shouldn’t be fooled if headlines highlight declining sales.
The market is “still extremely strong across geography and segment”, though it may have seen “peak momentum”.
“It's still a long way back from the moon,” Kavcic stated.
So how do things look down in Vancouver?
The Straight asked veteran realtor David Hutchinson about deals in May 2021 that may indicate how far or close the market is to the ground.
The Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent obliged, and found sales that seem to confirm what Kavcic thought about the market.
“We're still a long way back from the moon,” Hutchinson said.
The realtor cited 4768 Drummond Drive as an example.
The Point Grey area property sold for $14.6 million on May 19.
The selling price was $1,554,000 or 11.9 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $13,046,000.
The nine-bedroom property marketed by Luxmore Realty boasts of luxury features like an indoor pool and tournament-sized tennis court.
Hutchinson noted that although the residence was bought at a higher price of $15.3 million on April 30, 2018, its May 19, 2021 resale for $14.6 million is significant.
“It’s still a massive sale, and a clear indication there's still a lot of money in the market,” Hutchinson said.
Based on tracking by real-estate site Zealty.ca, the 4768 Drummond Drive sale is the highest deal so far in May 2021.
There’s also a bunch of other properties that sold this month for millions.
An example is 3915 West 35th Avenue. The Dunbar area home was sold by RE/MAX West Coast on May 16 for $5.4 million.
The sold price for the seven-bedroom and six-bath residence was $1,331,000 or 32.7 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $4,069,000.
Going back to Hutchinson, the Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent cited 3827 West Broadway as another example.
The Point Grey residence sold for $6.9 million on May 14.
The selling price for the custom-built home was $1,539,000 or 28.7 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $5,361,000.
The home marketed by Oakwyn Realty offers five bedrooms and six baths over three levels.
“If anything illustrates that the Vancouver real estate market is still in orbit, it's this sale,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson explained that the property was last sold in 2016 for $3.2 million. A new home was built on the 55-foot by 112-foot lot.
Although there is “nothing really spectacular about this newer house”, its May 2021 sold price means that the property more than doubled in value in five years.
Hutchinson also mentioned sales with prices that went over both listing prices and assessed values.
One is 5868 Alma Street. RE/MAX Crest Realty sold the Southlands area home for $4.1 million.
The selling price was $201,000 over the asking price of $3,899,000. It was also $1,603,000 or 64.2 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $2,497,000.
The home features five bedrooms and five baths.
Another example is 332 East 23rd Avenue, which sold for $4 million.
The sold price was $412,000 over its asking price of $3,588,000. It was also $1,531,000 or 62 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $2,469,000.
The one-year-old home marketed by Macdonald Realty offers three bedrooms, three baths, and “plenty of closet space”.
Lastly, 4015 West 28th Avenue sold for $4,360,000.
The Dunbar area home was marketed by Dexter Realty as an “excellent and rare redevelopment opportunity”. It was built in 1952 and has “no heritage merit”.
The sold price was $372,000 over its listing price of $3,988,000. It was also $1,057,500 or 32 percent over its 2021 assessed value of $3,302,500.
These sales and numbers mentioned by Hutchinson can also be found on the real-estate information sites fisherly.com and Zealty.ca.
In a May 17 analysis, RBC economist Robert Hogue wrote that Canada’s “housing mania toned down a notch in April as home resales reversed their clearly unsustainable spike of the previous two months”.
“There is plenty of room for activity to ease further in the months ahead—and yet remain historically vibrant,” Hogue wrote.
Factors such as a gradual rise in interest rates and tightening of mortgage rules could “ease the extreme imbalance that has characterized the market since last summer".
“In the meantime, though,” Hogue stated, “prices are likely to keep rising rapidly.”