Average house price down 15 per cent or more in parts of Metro Vancouver
Published Thursday, December 8, 2016 5:17PM PST Last Updated Thursday, December 8, 2016 6:51PM PST
Some Vancouver detached homes have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars below asking, and there's now proof the trend is in effect beyond the city's borders as well.
Earlier this week, CTV News reported a dozen houses listed for less than $1 million, with others selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than owners were asking for.
In one example, a Renfrew Heights home was listed at $1.36 million in August, but sold for $800,000 in mid-November.
And prices appear to be dipping in other parts of the Metro area and Fraser Valley too, according to realtor Steve Saretsky.
This is typically a slow time of year for realtors, but this year they’re seeing a drop in the selling price of a home as well as overall sales.
Saretsky called the dip in prices a "kickback," following a spike in list prices that left many priced out of Vancouver, Richmond and the North Shore.
"It's a totally different market. It's crazy what can happen at overnight," Saretsky told CTV Vancouver on Thursday.
"We've gone from crazy bidding wars – basically anything would sell – and now it's turning into a full-on buyers' market."
Saretsky said prices are especially low east of the city: "We're seeing prices down roughly 15 per cent in most areas of the Fraser Valley, and it's just getting started."
In analyzing sales data available to realtors, he says South and North Surrey appear to be the "hardest hit" by the price reductions, but that Langley is starting to be affected as well with the average sell price down 19 per cent in November compared to June.
CTV News found a number of listings outside Vancouver hinting at desperations. A listing in Langley described "motivated sellers" willing to "look at all offers."
A home on 148A Street in Surrey, that last sold sold months ago for $725,000, is up for sale again for $44,000 more, but the listing contains the message, "All offers will be considered. Immediate possession available."
And it isn't just detached homes going for less than expected. The sellers of a townhouse in White Rock are offering to pay the first year's strata fees as a way to entice buyers.
Saretsky said he's seeing a "bit of a standoff" between buyers and sellers, each waiting to see whether prices will drop or rise before making a decision. The owners that are selling now are the ones willing to take a reduction.
"It's really only been a buyers' market for roughly about four consecutive months now," he said.
On Aug. 2 the provincial government enacted a foreign buyers tax in Metro Vancouver, charging non-Canadian homebuyers an extra 15 per cent. Many realtors and industry analysts attribute a sharp decline in sales and gradual softening of prices to that tax.
While the news may be somewhat welcome to would-be buyers, year-over-year price hikes have been so high that the dream of ownership is still a distant dream for some.
But Saretsky said he expects prices to continue to fall into the new year.
"There's a strong likelihood the correction continues into 2017. I think the correction has only just begun," he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos