It feels like it’s been this way for as long as we can remember; this outlandish real estate market. For the past 20 years at least, experts have been telling us that the Vancouver market has peaked. But will it ever really peak? And why didn’t we buy another property 10 years ago? Even five years ago! We definitely can’t afford to get in on it now. But seriously, it can’t keep going up, can it? It seems everyday there’s a story in the news about the housing crisis, and how our local government is trying to slow the market down.
In the summer of 2016 they introduced the 15% foreign buyer tax, then a 1% levy on empty homes. Recently, BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has been talking about putting restrictions on all foreign property, similar to the restrictions that have been implemented in New Zealand. Interest rates are increasing and some single family home markets in the Vancouver area have definitely slowed down, if not flattened out completely. Condos were the hot commodity in 2017, with average 20% increases in value, and small towns throughout BC have been experiencing more action than they ever have.
However, China’s huge population seems to have discovered Vancouver and may just continue to invest here instead of that less welcoming country south of our border. Our governments keep incentivizing provincial immigration programs, wealthy international students are making Vancouver their home upon graduation, and an increasing amount of direct flights are coming from more and more cities in China.
This influx of foreign investment is now spreading into the Interior and Vancouver Island, however the value of property in those markets is still a bargain compared to Vancouver. So when is the right time to pull the plug and cash out? It’s kind of like being on a winning streak in Vegas… do you stay at the blackjack table another night? The game is fun, the winnings are big, the atmosphere is exciting but when is enough, enough? When do you take your earnings and start to enjoy the sunshine outside, maybe go for a drive to the Grand Canyon, go to Lake Mead for a swim, go hiking, golfing, relax, get some fresh air and live the life that you have been dreaming of? Tough call, but that waterfront property on the Island is looking pretty good right about now – and may not last forever.