June 2012 Market Update


July 2012


Luxury Market Stumbles as Asian Buyers dry up

Midway through 2012, BC's luxury market is showing signs of cooling down. Through the first 6 months of 2012, 243

homes priced at over $3 million have sold compared to 466 through the first 6 months of 2011. While this may seem

like a significant drop, 2012 is still far ahead of 2010, when 375 $3 million homes sold over the year, 169 in the first



Macdonald Realty manager Matthew Lee, whose Vancouver office sold the most expensive home in BC so far this

year ($19.8 Million; 4803 Belmont Ave., Vancouver), believes that the market has reached a tipping point. "Prices have

been going up so much the past few years that we're now seeing a combination of buyer fatigue and seller intrigue,"

says Lee, "buyers are looking at prices and don't believe they can go up much more in the near term, so they're taking

their time. Conversely, sellers are seeing these sky high prices and have finally decided to cash out."


UBC real estate professor Tsur Sommerville has argued that because luxury real estate tends to be bought with

existing wealth rather than incomes, it is much more unpredictable than the entry-level market. Luxury real estate

prices tend to be disconnected from economic fundamentals like income, and because of this, prices are much

more driven by psychology and people's belief in what future values will be. And with the faltering real estate market

in China, the uncertainty in Europe, and current high prices, you're seeing a more cautious buyer.


Or at least a more cautious Chinese buyer.


Most neighbourhoods that have been bought up by wealthy Chinese buyers over the past few years - Vancouver

(Westside), Richmond, West Vancouver - are now in a Buyer's market, or have high inventories with lower sales.

Other, more affordable, markets - Vancouver (Eastside), North Vancouver - are still experiencing a seller's market.

This was predicted in a Macdonald Realty forecast put out in December 2011, which predicted that more expensive

jurisdictions in BC would experience a flat or sagging market while cheaper alternatives continue their upward



Most Expensive Homes Sold so far in 2012:

  • 1) $19,800,000
  • 2) $14,200,000
  • 3) $12,388,000

Most Expensive Condos Sold so far in 2012:

  • 1) $5,900,000
  • 2) $5,250,000
  • 3) $5,150,000
  (Click chart to see larger image)  


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