Sep 01, 2016

By Michael Kramer

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A steep drop in August real estate transactions is being anticipated – when the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver comes out with its latest home sales data on Friday.

It’ll be the first look at the immediate impact of a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market – one month after it went into effect on August 2nd.

But experts are also saying sales could rebound over time – as they point to the region’s strong cultural ties with China – in addition to the strong local job market.

MLS data has shown an 86 per cent drop in Metro Vancouver home sales during the first two weeks of August – compared to the same time period last year.

RBC senior economist Robert Hogue says it’ll take months to see whether the initial shock of the new tax will be sustained – and the market had already begun to cool after hitting an all-time high in February.

Hogue says there are a number of reasons for the slowdown – including the lack of affordability negatively impacting demand.

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