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Has Vancouver’s Downtown Condo Market Lost Its Strength?

Downtown Vancouver is a phenomenal place to live and visit. In addition to the beauty of the high-rise buildings and landscape of the surrounding area, you also receive the perks of living within walking distance to the fantastic shopping centers of both Robson Street and the Pacific Centre Mall. Of course, with these perks comes a price, and unfortunately not many buyers have been spending their money in Vancouver’s downtown condo market as of late. In fact, the numbers show that by in large the downtown condo market has been stagnant since 2011.

The downtown area is separated into the West End and the downtown area exclusively the Yaletown, Gastown, and Strathcona districts. However, data for these areas suggests that they were hardest hit by the financial crisis. Sales for condos have dipped significantly in the last two years leading to losses for those selling their condos. It seems as though as condo sales remain stagnant detached home price sales have raised significantly showing that space has become a more important selling point than location.

From 2012-2013 overall sales of downtown condos have fallen by 25% and the price per square foot for condos in the high rise buildings of beautiful downtown Vancouver have dropped 2%. While this may be good for buyers it has caused some upset condo owners in the area. But the price drop has remained fairly neutral and has not eliminated all hope for sellers. The problem is that high rollers are looking elsewhere for property which means the next set of buyers to be interested in downtown condos will be those closer to middle income wage earners. These middle market buyers aren’t going to test the waters for downtown condos until it warms up more to their liking. With high rollers out and lower- income earners waiting out the market down turn in downtown, condo sales is likely to stay that way for some time.

As new lending regulations have been introduced to Vancouver and as fewer migrants are moving into the market, there simply are fewer buyers available. This in turn has fueled a loss for condos in the downtown area. Although location is wonderful the price is out of the range of the majority of buyers on the market. Areas of Vancouver that are seeing the most improvement are those with emphasis on space and price rather than on luxury and a fantastic view.

Only time will tell how the downtown market will fair, but as for now things are not looking so good and the market is only predicting more of the same.

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