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Vancouver home prices in 2018, and where they might go in 2019

Development consultant Michael Ferreira of Vancouver-based Urban Analytics says financial stress tests have impacted first-time buyers.

Calling the timing and extent of a market correction can be a mug's game, but when it comes to the Vancouver housing market, economists and experts are pulling together all kinds of indicators to say where prices will go.


Vancouver’s home prices remain dizzyingly high, but after a spectacular run lasting several years, they started to cool off in 2018.


The turn has would-be buyers and sellers heading into 2019 wondering how long this period will last and whether prices will hold or tumble.


Trying to call the timing and degree of a market correction is usually a mug’s game.


After all, when prices were rising by double-digit percentages with no seeming end, experts were baffled, quarter after quarter.


Still, there is a great deal of pressure to make some sense of it all.


This is a province where real estate-related transactions, including construction, account for as much as a quarter of the economy, by some estimates. It’s a city and surrounding area that was at the top of lists tracking the developed world’s most overheated housing markets.


Homes are for living in, but it’s undeniable there is a part of Vancouver real estate that has also become an asset class for investors.


And so, it’s not just buyers and sellers yearning for a crystal ball to see where prices will go, but also economists and analysts, who are digging into information about debt loads and household incomes to make predictions. Others are weaving into their calculations figures such as anticipated population growth and supply of new housing.


And then, there are some observers who have taken to charting patterns in historical data to say what might happen.


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