British Columbia

Slower growth or even reversal predicted for Greater Vancouver home prices

Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said house prices in Greater Vancouver grew 30.6% in the third quarter of the year, marking what he said may have been the real estate market's "final hurrah."

House prices soared over 30% last year in the region

The CEO of Royal LePage is predicting slower growth or even a reversal of home prices in Greater Vancouver. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said house prices in Greater Vancouver grew 30.6 per cent year-over-year in the third
quarter of the year, marking what may have been the real estate market's "final hurrah."

Soper said he expects that price growth in Vancouver will slow or even reverse in the months ahead as the effects of recent federal and provincial government rule changes begin to be felt.

He said it can take about six months for prices to catch up with a change in demand, and points to last month's 32-per cent plunge in home sales in Greater Vancouver.

Soper isn't blaming B.C's new 15 per cent tax on foreign home buyers for the decline, saying sales were already softening when the tax took effect in August, but he believes the tax may have been the change that finally tipped the scales. 

The real estate agency said the average house price in the region soared to $1.19 million in the three-month period that ended on Sept. 30, up from $914,705 during the same quarter last year.

The average price of a home in Greater Toronto rose to $693,154 over the third quarter, up 13.6 per cent compared to last year, when the average home price was $610,308.

In Edmonton, where the decline in oil prices has hurt the real estate market, the average cost of a home was down 3.1 per cent to $374,712 from $386,829 a year ago.

Royal LePage said its national house price composite — a figure based on 53 of the country's largest real estate markets — showed that the average price of a home climbed 12 per cent from a year ago to $545,414 in the third quarter.