North Vancouver Market: Sustained Growth
Many naysayers were calling for a correction to an over-inflated real estate market, and yet with the factors of decreased sales combined with higher interest rates, prices did not suffer. Many buyers were waiting for the price adjustments, but have since decided that it’s time to get off the fence and into the marketplace.
As a result of so many prospective buyers holding off their purchase, the market experienced a pent-up demand for North Vancouver real estate. Buyers who had been waiting, finally delved into the market and according to Cameron Muir, the chief economist for the BC Real Estate Association, we’ve now seen a balance from that pent-up demand.
Muir says that prices may experience some softening in early 2014, but that the market will likely pick up in the latter half of the year. Winter is traditionally a slow market, and many North Vancouver homes are taken off the market temporarily over the holidays. Additionally, it is not uncommon for owners of North Vancouver real estate to hold off until Spring to list their properties.
According to my statistics from the MLS, North Vancouver saw 1077 single family detached houses sold in 2013 with an average sold price of $1,087,635 and the average home sold for 96.8% of the asking price. West Vancouver is considered to have been the hottest market this year, while Richmond was considered the coldest.
Some reports claim that in the luxury home market, approximately 75% of buyers are mainland Chinese. This is only an estimate due to that type of information not being made public in Canada, something which has been heavily criticized by many economists. Ross McCredie, the president and CEO of Sotherby’s Interational Realty Canada, estimates that about 50% of sales over $2 million are foreign buyers.
North Vancouver real estate will continue to see further densification according to the City of North Vancouver’s plans for the OCP. The District of North Vancouver is following suit, with new proposals under consideration to transform the area surrounding Marine and Capilano, to name but one potential development site.
This increased density will continue to put pressure on owners of single family detached houses in North Vancouver. Developers will continue to try and find new areas to develop, and the behavior of city government appears to be encouraging it with some enthusiasm. Builders will find new ways to leverage for higher densities, but with pending changes to the OCP it appears they will already be looking at higher densities than previously zoned in many areas.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the near future, but for now it does not appear that any major crash is pending. North Vancouver house prices are very high, that is undeniable, but as long as demand exists to purchase homes, even at these unprecedented prices, then we will continues to see sustained growth on the North Shore.