Opportunites In Vancouver’s “Crazy, Scary” Real Estate Market

There are great opportunities in today’s volatile Valley market, where prices are increasing rapidly and many properties are seeing multiple bids above the list price. “Our real estate is making more money than we are,” Royal LePage said.

While calling the Valley market “scary” and “crazy” Royal LePage also said investors would have to be nuts to not jump in.

“There are great opportunities,” they said, “but you have to take action now. Don’t hesitate. Look for deals under every rock.”

Royal Lepage said some vendors simply don’t realize what is happening, that their house is now worth $50,000 to $60,000 more now than it was in January, when they first thought of listing. “You don’t want to take advantage of people, but should take advantage of this market.”

Many clients of Royal LePage who bought Valley houses mentioned their strategy is a long-term investor but flippers could also make a lot of money in the Fraser Valley this year.

The current conditions are good news and bad news for rent-to-own investors. The good news is there are a lot of investors, including cash-heavy former homeowners who recently sold. The bad news is it is so hard to buy houses because of the multiple, no subject bids that are being seen across Metro Vancouver real estate. Rent-to-own, she conceded, works best when you have motivated vendors, which is not the case in the current seller’s market.

Vancouver properties soared 53% this spring compared to 2015 and, while prices are accelerating

Values in the capital remain very low compared to Metro Vancouver property market– the gap is so pronounced that cashing-out Vancouverites are now the biggest buyers in Victoria, according to strawhomes.com.


There is now a $768,000 spread between the average detached house price in Victoria and Metro Vancouver real estate and the gap widens to more than $2 million if you compare the west side of Vancouver to Victoria, he said. He noted a mortgage-free retiree could sell their old 2-bedroom bungalow in Vancouver’s Dunbar area and purchase a 7-bedroom ocean view home in prestigious Oak Bay and put $1.4 million in the bank, tax free.

Buyers from Metro Vancouver bought 25% of all homes sold in Victoria this year and 52% of the more expensive houses, he said. In some ways, Vancouver buyers are to Victoria what China buyers are to Vancouver. (Only 3% of Asian immigrants move to Victoria.). This include condos, townhouses, and detached homes.

Price appreciation in Victoria, which has been flat for seven years, took off in 2015 and is now being seen in multiple offers – even “bully offers” wherein a buyer bids over list with no subjects in a one-hour take-it-or-leave-it offer – with houses selling for tens of thousands of dollars over list price. Which sounds a lot like Vancouver.

A common strategy for Victoria vendors now is to hold an open house onThursday or Friday, collect all the bids by Tuesday and then decide which one to accept. Two years ago that would have been a fantasy.

Yet, Victoria prices are just now getting back to what they were before the 2008 crash – suggesting there is plenty of room upside, especially in higher-end housing. There is a lack of inventory, with MLS listings down 30% in March from a year earlier, to just 2,600 units. Many neighbourhoods have no homes for sale.

Victoria and North Vancouver condo markets are not the only Island centre going great guns this year.

In March, the benchmark price of a condosin north vancouver was $379,375, up 13% from one year ago, source: https://www.strawhomes.com/mls/north-vancouver-condos/ . Nanaimo’s detached prices rose 5.9% to $367,000; Parksville-Qualicum prices rise 8.6% to $391,400; the Campbell River house price is $281,800, a 2.6% increase, and the Comox Valley, is $354,100, up 9.39%. In March, 520 detached houses sold on the Island, a 24% year-over-year increase. Active listings were down 26% to 1,599.

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