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The city skyline is seen at night from Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg.

Vancouver Housing Posts Biggest Price Gains Since 1990

Monday, August 14, 2017

By Greg Quinn, Bloomberg

Just as Toronto’s housing market is beginning to slow down, Vancouver’s is roaring back to life.

New home prices in Canada’s most-expensive market jumped 1.5% in June, and have gained 5% since March, data released Thursday by Statistics Canada show. That’s the biggest three-month increase since 1990. Prices for existing homes are also on fire, gaining 11% in the five months through July, according to data released this month by Vancouver’s real estate board.

The rebound, following a short slump late last year, underscores just how difficult it is to control runaway prices in the face of historically low interest rates and purchasing by foreign investors. Vancouver has become a test lab for policy makers seeking to engineer a soft landing.

Canada tightened mortgage rules several times in recent years to discourage a buildup of record consumer debt, and when that didn’t work the British Columbia government set a 15% foreign-buyer tax last August. Toronto followed with a similar levy in April.

Statistics Canada doesn’t include condominiums in its new home price index.

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