Photo: Jennifer C/Flickr
Vancouver’s housing market has been undergoing a well-publicized correction, and that’s expected to keep taking a bite out of condo developers’ bottom lines in 2019, suggests industry observer Urban Analytics.
The firm, which gathers data on the new-home market in the Lower Mainland, included that prediction in its fourth-quarter take on Metro Vancouver’s new-housing segment.
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But researchers went a step further. Urban Analytics also included estimates for the kind of pricing condo shoppers can expect to encounter in the first months of 2019 for units in both concrete buildings (generally high-rise towers) and wood-frame structures, their typically mid-rise, or four- to six-storey, counterparts.
Despite the downturn, homebuyers set on purchasing a new unit at a concrete condo project — that’s typically a high-rise tower — in downtown Vancouver shouldn’t be surprised to see pricing remain around $2,000 per square foot.
On the Cambie Corridor in Vancouver West, Urban Analytics sees developers asking about $1,500 per square foot, while projects at the University of British Columbia have more affordable pricing around $1,250 per square foot.
Developers have been able to sell units in Richmond for between $1,000 and $1,100 per square foot in concrete buildings and below $800 per square foot in wood-frame condo buildings, which are generally shorter than concrete structures.
Concrete condo pricing in Burnaby matches Richmond’s range, but there are some fluctuations. For example, Metrotown units are being advertised for $1,150 per square foot, while Urban Analytics suggests developers price Lougheed dwellings from $900 to $950 per square foot.
On average, Urban Analytics notes New Westminster units in concrete towers are being offered for $850 to $900 per square foot.
Sales offices in Coquitlam Centre have been seeking pricing at $860 per square foot — but that may change. “Given the significant number of new condominium projects expected to launch in the Burquitlam neighbourhood over the next several months, more downward pressure on pricing for this product is anticipated,” notes Urban Analytics.
In the second half of last year, concrete condos had been selling at a reasonable rate for a little over $800 per square foot. However, with more buyers on the sidelines, Urban Analytics anticipates this number will fall. For the South Surrey/White Rock area, it will be a challenge for developers to get more than $900 per square foot. Langley/Cloverdale wood-frame units are still priced at $525 to $550 per square foot.
Wood-frame condo units here haven’t had trouble attracting buyers with prices of $475 to $510 per square foot, Urban Analytics suggests.