Premier Christy Clark says that there will be no change to the foreign-buyers tax, citing that the plunge in real estate sales and deceleration in price increases in the Vancouver area last month were exactly what the government was trying to achieve.
"The prices were going up way too fast and if we helped slow that down, that’s good,” she said.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver announced that August sales were down by 26% compared to August of last year. The largest drop in property sales was experienced by detached homes, which fell by 44.5%.
In addition to the slowdown in sales, the board said that skyrocketing prices may be tapering off.
In August, the average price of a detached home fell to $1.47 million, a 16.7% drop compared to July. President of the REBGV, @dan_morrison, said on Friday that the region was seeing fewer sales of the highest-priced detached homes and fewer sales of detached homes compared with other kinds of housing, which has caused average prices to slump.
To compare prices, the REBGV uses a benchmark price, which is a representation of a "typical" property sold in the area.
For detached properties, the benchmark price reached $1.57 million in August, a 12-month increase of 35.8%. Compared to July however, the figure was down 0.1%.
However, Clark said that it was still too early to tell what the foreign-buyers tax and luxury sales tax on homes priced over $2 million has had on the market.
The premier also addressed that the government would do even more to address affordability in Metro Vancouver, stating that "we need to make it easier for first time home buyers to get into the market and that’s not just about price.”
Additionally, Clark cited housing supply as contributing factor to the problem, with prospective developments "languishing" in city planning departments for years.
Clark said her government will now look at ways to ensure cities are “moving some of that inventory” and increasing supply.
What do you think could be on the horizon for further real estate regulation by the BC government?