Ozzie Jurock’s Vancouver Real Estate Market 2024 Ozbuzz Forecast

As 2024 starts, it’s time to reflect on 2023 as another year of twists and turns in Canadian real estate. From soaring mortgage rates to tax changes aimed at cooling markets, it has been a volatile ride.

While uncertainty still looms in 2024, my decades of experience provide perspective. I’ve gleaned key insights to help homebuyers, sellers and investors navigate whatever comes next.

Key Takeaways

  • Sales and listings trended down in 2023 from lofty highs, but prices showed resilience
  • Moderate outlook ahead – neither bullish nor doom-and-gloom
  • Focus on value: small towns in BC, Calgary, Edmonton, commercial
  • Leverage professionals; disputes taxes if needed
  • For Ozzie’s Full Insights visit OzBuzz

Now, let’s dive into the state of major markets across British Columbia and Alberta as 2023 wraps up, along with an outlook for 2024.

Vancouver/Fraser Valley Sales Still Lag Historically

Bucking hopes of a quick rebound, Vancouver home sales this November sat 32% below the 10-year average, while the Fraser Valley faced a 40% lagdespite slight upticks from last year’s lows.

Sure, prices topped all Novembers in 4 years, but we’re still behind monthly peaks in the last half-decade. And new listings keep rising, up 29% for Fraser Valley condos and 18% on houses.

My proprietary data crunching reveals it plainly: 2023 remains well off the pace of previous years in these core markets. We’re on track to close out 2024 with a whimper unless migration and jobs data swing positive.

Double-Digit Drops Dominate Toronto Numbers

Canada’s largest city mirrors trends out West, with year-end metrics mired in the doldrums:

  • Active Listings: Up 41%
  • Sales: Down 27% from 2022 highs
  • SF Prices in 416 Area Code: Off 18% from peaks

November brought another 6-9% sales slump, extending 10 straight months of 5%+ declines.

And sorry to dash hopes, but multiple offers won’t save Toronto — those late-2023 spurts reflected one-off psychology, not fundamentals.

Rental Demand Still Rising

Between mortgages hitting upper limits and down payments hard to save, tenant pools keep growing. Vancouver vacancy fell to nearly 1%, proving rising prices and quick rents aren’t deterring folks from leaving home or seeking rooms.

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Bidding wars may fade, but landlords lean into demand with units flipped from dated to luxury. Tenants enjoy renovated digs while squeezed budgets balance housing, hydro and food costs.

We’re still years away from equilibrium with over 5% vacancy — and purpose-built space takes time. Until then, cash flows stay golden for rental owners while affordability nags those counting pennies from the couch or kitchen table signed in a 12-month lease.

Smaller Cities Offer Value

For buyers and investors on guard against further declines in Vancouver, Victoria or Toronto, take heart: options exist elsewhere for those seeking cash flow or shelter.

Steady As She Goes For Alberta Strongholds

While hypnotized by British Columbia’s vertigo-inducing ups and downs, many overlook Alberta’s allure. Calgary and Edmonton offer stability and affordability for either first-timers or portfolio growth.

November numbers show steady trajectory holding course:

City SF Sale Price SF Sales Change Condo Price Condo Sales Change
Calgary +13% +6% +8% +25%
Edmonton +22% +55% n/a n/a

Rather than chasing hyped-up drama out West, Alberta’s major centers provide options without sacrifice.

And locals will let you in on a secret: Banff and Lake Louise are a few hours away for when stunning scenery calls!

Small Town, Big Potential Across BC

For yield-hungry investors or remote workers seeking space, small-town British Columbia brings big appeal. With larger markets sluggish, now is the time to find hidden gems.

My proprietary research shows favourable price-to-rent ratios emerging in places such as Merritt, Trail, Squamish and Qualicum Beach in particular. With single family homes renting for $2,500+ per month, 5-6% capitalization rates add up nicely at purchase prices 20-40% below 2020.

And communities nested in nature serve up mental health perks that cement their investment case further.

Target Commercial Assets

For investors focused on cash flow, commercial assets bring benefits:

  • Simple rules and regulations
  • No foreign buyer taxes
  • Stable tenants via long leases
  • Upside from lease bumps over time

With interest rate hikes putting small business owners in precarious spots regarding retail space, there are deals a savvy buyer can unlock. Repurposed pharmacies, med clinics or even Amazon/online retail storage facilities present lucrative options.

Key Considerations for 2024

While forecasts show a steadier year economically, risks remain that could quicken pulses in real estate again. Monitor the key factors below when plotting 2024 plans:

Inflation Outlook

  • Hard asset inflation still simmering long-term
  • Micromanaging BOC and Fed likely, with quick rate cuts if conditions allow
  • Consumer prices to weigh on wallets

Immigration Ramping up again, with 2023 setting 67-year records

Mortgage Renewals
On deck: $154B in 2024 and $350B in 2025

Housing Policy
Ever-more government intervention predicted

I expect sales and listings to settle into a sustainable zone of activity in the coming year, while prices hold reasonably firm or tick upwards thanks to population flows.

Yet springtime psychology could spark bidding skirmishes again if buyers rush back in irrational exuberance.

The bottom line feels reminiscent of a film classic: “Fasten your seatbelts, it looks like another bumpy ride!”

Key Real Estate Tips As 2023 Closes

For Buyers

  • Dispute tax assessments if needed
  • Watch for FOMO spurring offers
  • Leverage trusted professionals

For Sellers

  • Price right – not high or low
  • Staging still brings sales
  • Time with care

For Investors

  • Target commercial
  • Think small towns
  • Use cash to buy assets

While uncertainty still looms in 2024, we’ll adapt like always in this business. Stay ready to act when opportunity knocks. Here’s to a rewarding year ahead!

Interview Questions:

Question 1: What was the overall trend for home sales in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley in November 2023 compared to previous years?

Ozzie: While sales were up slightly from November 2022, they are still well below (-32% in Vancouver, -40% in Fraser Valley) the 10-year average for November. For example, Vancouver had 523 single family home sales in November 2023, compared to 988 in 2021 and over 1,000 in 2020.

Question 2: How have home prices in Vancouver moved in November 2023 versus the past few years?

Ozzie: Vancouver home prices in November 2023 were the highest they’ve been in the last 4 years for this month. However, prices still remain below the peak monthly prices achieved within the last 5 years.

Question 3: What is driving the recent pause in interest rate hikes?

Ozzie: There seem to be several potential factors, including concerns that inflation fell too fast, worries about economic contraction happening faster than expected, dollar weakness signaling issues, the bond market collapse and rebound, and unknown fears the Fed hasn’t disclosed.

Question 4: What impact could the recent immigration numbers have on the British Columbia real estate market?

Ozzie: With over 400,000 immigrants arriving in the third quarter of 2023, adding over 1 million people in the first 9 months, this represents the highest quarterly population growth since 1957. If even 10% of immigrants settling in Vancouver and Toronto have downpayment funds, that could mean 100,000+ potential homebuyers entering those markets.

Question 5: What is your outlook for mortgage rates and borrowing conditions moving forward?

Ozzie: It looks increasingly likely mortgage rates may fall slightly, perhaps below 5%, as lenders become more competitive. However, getting approved for a mortgage will likely remain difficult compared to pre-pandemic norms. Market volatility also means unpredictability will persist.

Question 6: What key advice do you have for real estate investors right now?

Ozzie: Focus on commercial real estate rather than residential – it offers simpler rules/regulations, no foreign buyer taxes, and more stable cashflow potential. Also, consider unreserved auctions in Alberta or the US. Assignment purchases can allow buying into fear/uncertainty at cheaper prices after vetting the builder.

Question 7: What emerging real estate opportunities look most promising at the moment?

Ozzie: Property related to film/movie production, online retail storage facilities as e-commerce booms, converting existing retail to storage, and work/live spaces that enable multi-purpose real estate usage all offer strong potential.

Question 8: What are some of the main headwinds concerning you about Canada’s economic outlook?

Ozzie: High and rising debt levels among consumers and corporations, risk of liquidity issues as quantitative tightening accelerates, massive looming mortgage renewals, high taxes sapping incomes, supply chain breakdowns from de-globalization, retail sector weakness and the economic risks associated with global conflict.

Question 9: Where are you seeing the best value for real estate buyers in Western Canada right now?

Ozzie: Calgary and Edmonton currently offer relatively affordable prices compared to historical norms, combined with strengthening local economies. Small town British Columbia also presents attractive price-to-rent ratios at the moment worth considering.

Question 10: What key real estate advice do you have for both buyers and sellers to start out 2024?

Ozzie: My main advice is – work with the absolute best real estate agent or mortgage broker you can find! In today’s complex market, leverage professionals with extensive localized expertise. Also dispute your property tax assessment if appropriate and watch for shifting psychology that may spur renewed buyer frenzy.


Ready to turn your real estate dreams into reality? Contact Richard Morrison, Vancouver’s top realtor with 20+ years of experience. As a Medallion Club member and RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winning agent, he’s the expert you need on your side. Whether buying, selling, or investing, Richard’s personalized approach and deep market insights ensure a successful transaction. Reach out to Richard today at (778) 900-2235 and make your real estate journey seamless and rewarding.

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Ozzie Jurock

Ozzie Jurock is an award-winning Canadian real estate expert and bestselling author of books like "What, When, Where and How to Buy Real Estate in Canada." He has over 4 decades of industry experience. Jurock founded Jurock Publishing Ltd. and chairs Jurock Case Investment Realty. He's the only Canadian featured in Donald Trump’s real estate book and has won First Prize twice at the prestigious Morguard Literary Awards. For 25+ years, Jurock has provided weekly analysis on CKNW’s MoneyTalks radio. He previously served as President of Royal LePage Canada, overseeing 10,000+ agents. Jurock also held top international positions with major real estate and technology companies over his prolific 45-year career.

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