British Columbia

Vancouver real estate to chill: ex-MP

A former MP predicts Vancouver's red-hot housing market is about to cool down, but one local expert disagrees.
Financial writer and former Ontario MP Garth Turner predicts a sharp downturn in Vancouver's real estate market. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)
A former MP predicts Vancouver's red-hot housing market is about to cool down, but one local expert disagrees.

Since leaving politics, Ontario resident Garth Turner has written several books on finances and real estate.

All signs from the past two months indicate the city's real estate market is ready to take a dive, Turner said in Vancouver Wednesday.

"You've got an environment in which you've got rising prices, but falling sales," he said. "This is not a healthy market."

If you add the expectation that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates in July, you've got the perfect storm, said Turner.

UBC professor disagrees

Or not, according to Tsur Somerville, director of the UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.

When asked about Turner's prediction. Somerville agreed there may be corrections in areas like Richmond and the west side of Vancouver, where prices have surged over the past year.

But he said there's no reason to think the entire market is about to deflate.

"Both house prices and house sales can have a certain amount of volatility from month to month, especially house sales," said Somerville.

He said it's "very, very dangerous to make predictions" based on a short time-line.

Somerville also said that previous interest rate hikes have done nothing to bring down housing prices in the Lower Mainland.

With files from the CBC's Angie Brar

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