West Vancouver has definitely seen the ripple effect over the past two years. The demographics in West Vancouver are changing rapidly. The bridge kept the West Vancouver real estate market (reasonably) a best kept secret, but no longer, the flood gates are open with approx. 70% of our sales coming from Asian buyers, and add in another 15% from Iran. It has been hard for the locals with such a big shift in such a short time. Real estate prices in some of the main target areas such as Ambleside, Dundarave, Queens, and the British Properties have increased as much as 50% in the last two years. A lot of the locals have sold out, with people moving to other B.C. locations, down sizers going to strata, and some just going to rentals. Sustainable? I don't think so, but we shall see. I have never seen so many new spec. builds on go, and the number of lot value purchases that are soon to be pulled down. I don't think any of these small time builders have thought out demographics, and how many new builds there will be coming to the market with only one group of buyers that would buy them.
Interesting when this major West Vancouver leg up started in the late summer of 2010 we really got saved as the listing count in West Vancouver was at an all time high for single family (577) matching 1998. I thought, as well most of my colleagues thought the West Vancouver market was set for a big decline, but in August(generally a slow seasonal local market time)some big sales started to occur. I think this was started as the West Vancouver market place seemed like such a better buy compared to the West Side, and people finally figured out some of West Van's best kept secrets. Shhhh...... can't talk about how quiet(45,000 people, and not going to move up much), safe, proximity to downtown, lot sizing, views, and price in comparison to the West Side it is. Sales were crazy in 2011, and our inventory dropped to under 400, and prices just went straight up. A lot of these crazy sales were done with the Buyer's realtor coming from over town, and not knowing our local market. Lol...Can you imagine your Realtor showing you properties that he has no idea where he/her is, and having to use gps, and ask the Listing Agent where his/her next showing appointment is. How could you possibly assist the Buyer, and that is partially why we have seen some down right stupid sales over the past year, and a half. We have had two countries(China, Iran) where people having been trying to move money into property in a safe haven.
It has finally slowed up. For how long who knows, but we are due for a pause. The sales have really slowed up the last two weeks of March, and the listing count is moving up(426). Interesting how many of our listings were purchased in the last two years. Did these people always have a plan to flip, or is it money laundering, or a change in monetary circumstances, who knows, but I smell a change.