Toronto is experiencing a spike in sales of single-family homes fetching at least $1-million while the Vancouver market slows down, a trend that is forecasted to carry over into the fall.
The firm said Vancouver sales of single-family homes in the $1 million-plus range declined by 30 per cent in July and by 65 per cent in August, compared with the same months last year. Sales of Vancouver luxury homes over $4 million were off by 33 per cent year-over-year in July and by 46 per cent in August.
The Vancouver market appears to be finally going through slowdown after a three-year rally. The average price of detached properties sold within Vancouver’s city limits fell to $2.6-million in August, down 11.6 per cent from July, while the average price within Toronto proper rose 0.3 per cent to $1.21-million, according to data from real estate boards.
Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said the introduction of the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax by the provincial government on Aug. 2 “injected uncertainty” into the market and is expected to moderate sales activity in the fall. B.C. brought in the foreign buyer tax to curb property speculation. It also gave the city the power to tax empty homes, a move that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on Wednesday said could result in some homeowners soon paying as much as an extra two per cent tax on their properties.
Data released by the B.C. government show foreign buyers accounted for 10 per cent of sales of all housing types in Metro Vancouver during a five-week period from June 10 to July 14. Toronto and Vancouver remain by far the country’s two most expensive places to buy houses.
Year-over-year sales of single-family homes worth more than $1 million in July and August were up by 83 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area and by 55 per cent in the city of Toronto. Sales of condos in that same price range also showed a bigger summer jump, rising 89 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area and 86 per cent within the city of Toronto.
Sotheby’s didn’t examine Greater Vancouver, but its data show boom times in the Greater Toronto Area. There were 3,026 sales of single-family houses in the GTA in July and August, up 82.6 per cent from the same two months in 2015.