Vancouver housing prices fueled by local tax, foreign funds

08:24, July 09, 2010      

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Higher interest rates, tightened mortgage lending, enforced new sales taxation and an increased influx of foreign funds have combined to push up housing prices in Vancouver, though there are more houses than ready buyers.

Prices of detached houses went up by as much as 19.1 percent in the second quarter compared with the corresponding period of a year ago, swelling the average per-unit selling price to about 1 million Canadian dollars (954,836 U.S. dollars).

Canadian real estate firm Royal LePage on Wednesday quoted the selling price for a standard two-storey detached house in Vancouver at 995,250 Canadian dollars (950,754 U.S. dollars), up 17.6 percent up on average.

Also up was the selling price for condominiums, to 487,250 Canadian dollars (465,466 U.S. dollars) a unit or 16.6 percent up from last year.

Sales of separate houses in the second quarter fetched a median price of 905,000 Canadian dollars (864,539 U.S. dollars), according to Royal LePage.

The realtor, however, is forecasting the average home price in Vancouver to finish 9.7 percent higher than the end of 2009.

Royal LePage based its forecasts on "above-average inventory levels" of homes for sale. The inventory level was up by 30 percent in the April-June period.

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