Last year alone, the value of all properties in the city—which is Canada’s most expensive real estate market—climbed to a record $636 billion, a more than 16 percent increase compared to 2014.
At the same time, sales of homes worth over $4 million jumped an incredible 66.8 percent. Sales volumes on houses, condos and townhomes in the $1 million to $2 million range all saw a 43.3 percent jump, while their counterparts in the $2 million to $4 million soared 46.2 percent. Lions Bay, one of Vancouver’s most exclusive suburbs, saw the largest year-over-year increase at almost 18 percent; Vancouver itself jumped 16.84 percent.
As a whole, British Columbia saw its largest year-over-year gain since the 2008 financial crisis, with an 11.1 percent increase in assessed values—a total of $130 billion. The province announced Tuesday that it would offset the impact of these higher assessments by boosting the threshold for a tax break to lower-income home owners from 1.1 million to $1.2 million.
Close to 10 percent of homes in British Columbia are now worth more than $1.2 million. According to Statistics Canada, the median income for a family in the province was $74,150 in 2013, the last available year.
The ongoing boom in Vancouver’s housing market is thanks in part to continued support from foreign buyers. Interest from these as well as newcomer buyers is especially high with the Canadian dollar hitting record lows. Locals worry, however, that not only are these foreign buyers pricing current residents out, but that they aren’t paying their share of taxes.
This has prompted Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to call for a luxury tax on wealthy buyers, as well as a speculation tax to slow flipping activity.
Source: Reuters Canada