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Condos Lowering Vancouver Home Prices: Survey

Vancouver condos have lowered housing price averages in the city, according to a new Royal LePage real estate survey.

Housing prices have decreased across the board, but condos fell the furthest – dropping an average of 3.6 per cent to $481,000 in the last year, a quarterly survey released today by real estate firm Royal LePage shows.

The average price of a standard two-storey home decreased by 1.3 per cent to around $1.1-million, while detached bungalows fell 1.6 per cent to approximately $1 million.

But those waiting for Vancouver’s real estate bubble to burst shouldn’t hold their breath.

“Buyers are waiting for that big decrease to happen but I think if they’re going to keep waiting for that, chances are they aren’t going to see it,” said Todd Talbot, realtor and host of W Network’s Love It or List It Vancouver.

That’s because industry experts say some sellers aren’t interested in making significant price reductions, and are taking their homes off the market.

“They don’t have to sell,” said Brendon Ogmundson, an economist with the BC Real Estate Association.

“You don’t find a lot of extra listings unless people need to sell quickly because of some financial catastrophe, and that simply isn’t in the cards, so what we’re going to see is normal demand and supply dynamics.”

Nationally, Royal LePage’s survey shows average home prices increased year over year between two and four per cent.

In Vancouver, experts blame declines over the past year on a slow market, as buyers hope to scoop up a bargain and sellers wait for conditions to improve.

Despite the decrease, Ogmundson said there’s nothing irregular about Vancouver housing prices.

“We’re seeing a fairly normal market right now,” he said. “To get a big correction in a housing market you generally need to see fairly motivated sellers.”

Royal LePage forecasts an average price decline of three per cent in Vancouver for 2013.

Talbot said he expects the market to pick up.

“I think you’re going to see more activity. I don’t think you’re going to see a big drop off in prices,” he said.

“There might be a slight decline, maybe a little bit more of a decline in the condo market, due to the fact of the supply…In detached houses, we probably won’t see as much decline as buyers might like to see.”