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Few homes in Vancouver sold for over asking price in February

Last Updated Mar 16, 2018 at 11:05 pm PDT

(Kenny Mason, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Expert says speculation on detached homes is on the wane, thanks to government policies

Half of detached homes sold for under assessed value last month

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The era of bidding wars over homes in Vancouver might be over – at least for now.

New numbers suggest most detached homes that sold last month went for below asking price.

February MLS stats show 90 per cent of detached homes for sale in Vancouver’s Westside went below the asking price. Sixty-two per cent went below asking price in East Vancouver.

Half of homes sold even went below assessed value.

Jim Brander of UBC’s Sauder School of Business says new government policies seem to be making a difference.

“The NDP has done several things to make buying home on a speculative basis much less attractive. Also, mortgage interest rates have risen as well,” he explains.

Metro Vancouver has had a 15 per cent tax on foreign home purchasers since 2016. The province announced in February it would hike the levy to 20 per cent and expand the applicable cities.

A speculation tax was introduced in February’s budget and kicks in for the 2018 tax year.

An empty homes tax, now in effect in Vancouver, also deters speculators from buying properties and letting them sit empty.

While rapid price increases are over for now, Brander says Vancouver will continue to be an expensive place to live.

“Vancouver is not going to be a bargain in the near future.”