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The chart from a recent CMHC presentation says it all.


***Note*** The percentage numbers on the right of the image are the total number (quantity) of salesNOT the sales price.


Prices have not declined notably other than in the 4M$ plus bracket.


Key points:


The Volume of sales was declining significantly for 60 days leading up the the announcement of the Foreign Buyer Tax (FBT). It would seem that the Provincial government hastily rushed a poorly thought out and horribly implemented tax into effect simply to try and take the credit for an already cooling market.


The literal ‘cooling off’ was in late November, December, January and into February. It was caused by something that few people outside of Vancouver can fathom the devastating implications of, no not the FBT, rather a bit of snow and ice. As little as 5mm of snow cripples this city, and with it the real estate market. A point of context that few market analysts from outside of BC grasp, and thus many an erroneous assessment of the FBT on Vancouver real estate ensued. There is much to be said for having boots (winter boots especially) on the ground.


Note the lack of impact the FBT had on sales activity of properties below 2M$. Things kept on rocking right along. It was business as usual (which is to say many instances of multiple offers over asking price every month of last year and this year). The true window of opportunity was, as previous posts pointed out, during Dec/Jan and reserved for those with snow tires, a toque and an understanding of economics 101.


So,what did the FBT do for you?


If you are shopping for a property under 1M$ in particular, the FBT did very little for you. Many of us took a step back for a few months to ‘wait and see’ but even then, with so few listings available, prices remained strong. And since the March thaw the market has heated right back up again – as was clearly going to be the case.


If you are in the 1M$-2M$, and even the 2M$ – 4M$ market, your window of opportunity has also pretty much closed, with little respite ahead save for another brutal winter of 3mm of snow, and then 4mm of snow, and then…you get the idea.


But hey, if you are one of the eleven or so people shopping in the rarefied air of 4M$ and above, or perhaps 10M$ and above there is great news, its a buyers market!


Interesting times.