The monthly report for October from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver came out today and here is how it reads: The benchmark price of an apartment property is $683,500, which is 5.8 per cent higher from October 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,524,000, which is 5.1 per cent lower compared with October 2017.

The other thing to look at will be sales-to-active listings ratio, a measure of balance between supply and demand in the housing market. It is calculated as the number of unit sales divided by the number of active listings.  Per property type, the ratio is 10.3 per cent for detached homes, 17.3 per cent for townhomes, and 20.6 per cent for condominiums. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period. Read the full report here.

On the other hand, the following amazing things happened for Vancouver:

  • Apple is opening a new major office in downtown Vancouver: Apple has leased 60,000-sq-ft of office space at the under-construction 400 West Georgia Street office tower, other tenants that have been formally announced for the tower include Deloitte and Amsterdam-based co-working company Spaces (120,000-sq-ft of space within the lower floors). The 24-storey, 301-ft-tall, 375,000-sq-ft office tower is located at the southwest corner of West Georgia and Homer Street, just across from Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch and the future offices of Amazon at the Canada Post redevelopment. Read the full report here.
  • Amazon is opening another new office in downtown Vancouver: Amazon’s corporate expansion within Vancouver continues with another downtown office location. The tech giant is opening another office within The Exchange office tower at 475 Howe Street. About 100,000-sq-ft of office space has been leased by Amazon within the building. Read the full report here
  • Mastercard is opening a new corporate office in downtown Vancouver: The multinational credit card giant has leased a 40,000-sq-ft office space within The Exchange office tower (same tower as new Amazon’s new office). Read the full report here.
  • Vancouver-based game company, Kabam is also planning a new massive office: The Vancouver-headquartered company has leased over 100,000-sq-ft of office space in the under-construction Vancouver Centre II office tower at 753 Seymour Street. This new space will be more than three times the size of the company’s existing office. Read the full article.
  • Commercial real estate companies are getting calls from San Francisco for big offices: “I got a phone call from somebody from San Francisco a week-and-a-half ago,” said the Colliers International executive vice-president. “A big-name company. They need 250,000 square feet (of office space) in Vancouver.” Read the full article.

So in conclusion, while the market is not in perfect shape right now, there is still high hopes as to the future potential of Vancouver as a tech hub, or as industry insiders call it the “north valley”. With high paying jobs push rents higher and higher, some speculate creation of new housing, close to the downtown core may be the most valuable contribution to city’s tech growth. Others also complain that the province should do more to let new migrating talent settle in, including more relaxations to the foreign buyer tax for the people who live and work it the city for a minimum of 3 years.

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