After months of low sales and a drop of 40% in prices, the West Vancouver luxury housing market seems to be picking up again. Juwai.com, the largest Chinese real estate website portal for foreign property, has recorded an increase in interest for West Vancouver real estate. This is a sign that demand for such properties might be recovering.
Juwai.com‘s CEO and Director, Carrie Law, said that “in January, premium inquiries tripled the level of the month before. That’s a big proportionate increase.”
Last year there was a 66% drop in interest of premium properties by Chinese buyers after the provincial government raised the foreign-home buyer tax. However, now that the market has cooled down, it seems like “bottom feeders are on the hunt for cheap West Vancouver places,” says Carrie Law.
Sales and prices of West Vancouver real estate
The change has not only been felt by juwai.com. Clara Hartree, a West Vancouver real estate agent who just sold a property n Sinclair Avenue, mentioned that all offers were made by new immigrant Chinese, and the property was sold to a buyer from Beijing. Although the property was sold below asking price, the price was above the BC Assessment value.
Many agents like Clara Hartree have noticed that buyers are keeping their ground when it comes to offers. “Buyers are inflexible; there is no emotional buying. They stick to their offers. Most of my buyers have at least three choices by the time they start offering. If they get a ‘no’ or a counter offer, they go to the next [listing], said Hartree. Some sellers have been adjusting their expectations and accepting lower offers. Lisa Sun, another West Vancouver real estate agent, commented that buyers are signing “unbelievable deals you never would have expected until very recently. Low-ball offers are the rule now.”
Market recovering after months of dropping prices
Sales of West Vancouver real estate has dropped by 40% since 2016. The benchmark price of a West Vancouver detached house was down by 16.7% in February compared to a year ago. However, investors and builders that have been holding too much inventory are willing to sell their properties for prices that are lower than market value.
Foreign buyers are acting upon the situation and making offers. They are now factoring in the 20% foreign tax into their offers and offering bellow asking to absorb the taxes. In a way, the foreign tax is now also being absorbed by local sellers.
Eurohouse Group, a custom luxury homebuilder in West Vancouver, has also recorded a higher number of inquiries than normal. “in the last six weeks, the number of inquiries we get for new homes has at least doubled compared with October, November and December of last year”
Vancouver in the spotlight
With the recent high-profile case of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, Vancouver has been in the spotlight and this might have increased the interest of Chinese. Although many expected this case to hamper the image of Vancouver, juwai.com said that it might have made Vancouver more popular amongst Chinese elite. However, Law also warned that depending on how the city behaves itself with Wanzhou’s case it might tarnish Vancouver’s reputation in the eyes of Chinese buyers.
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