The Evolution of Vancouver, Canada’s Real Estate Market Over the Last Decade

Ah, Vancouver. A city where the mountains meet the sea, and the real estate market has been as dynamic as the Canadian weather. Over the last decade, we’ve seen this market transform, ebb, and flow, much like the tides of the Pacific. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, with soaring highs and heart-stopping drops, but always fascinating to watch.

Let’s dive into the evolution of Vancouver’s real estate market and see how it’s changed over the years. From the boom of the early 2010s to the cooling off period and back to the recent trends, there’s a lot to unpack. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

The Early 2010s: A Market on Fire

Remember the early 2010s? It was a time when Vancouver’s real estate market was hotter than a July day in Stanley Park. Prices were skyrocketing, and properties were selling faster than you could say “sold.” International investors were flocking to the city, drawn by its natural beauty and stable economy. It was a seller’s paradise, and bidding wars were the norm.

During this period, the average price of a home in Vancouver was climbing at an unprecedented rate. We saw detached homes in neighborhoods like Kitsilano and West Vancouver reach prices that made our jaws drop. Condos weren’t far behind, with luxury high-rises popping up all over the downtown core.

Mid-Decade: Regulatory Changes and a Shift in the Wind

But as we all know, what goes up must come down. By the mid-2010s, concerns about affordability and housing bubbles started to make headlines. The government stepped in, introducing measures like the foreign buyer’s tax and stricter mortgage rules. These changes were like a cold shower on the overheated market.

Suddenly, the breakneck pace of sales started to slow. Prices stabilized, and in some cases, even dipped. It was a time of adjustment, as both buyers and sellers navigated the new landscape. For first-time homebuyers, it was a glimmer of hope in an otherwise daunting market.

The Late 2010s: A Market in Flux

As we approached the late 2010s, Vancouver’s real estate market was finding its footing again. The initial shock of the regulatory changes had worn off, and the market was in a state of flux. Sales volumes were down, but interest in Vancouver real estate remained strong.

Developers started focusing on building more affordable housing options, and the city saw an increase in townhouses and duplexes. It was a time of innovation and adaptation, as the industry looked for ways to meet the needs of a diverse population.

The Pandemic Effect: A Market Reimagined

Then came 2020, and with it, a global pandemic that turned everything on its head. The real estate market braced for impact, expecting the worst. But something unexpected happened. Instead of collapsing, the market adapted and thrived.

With people spending more time at home, the desire for space became paramount. The market saw a surge in demand for properties with extra room for home offices and outdoor areas. Suburban areas and smaller communities within commuting distance of Vancouver became hotspots for buyers looking for more bang for their buck.

Today’s Market: Looking to the Future

Now, as we look to the future, Vancouver’s real estate market is as vibrant as ever. Prices have rebounded, and in some cases, are reaching new heights. The city continues to attract buyers from all over the world, drawn by its reputation as a livable, green, and diverse metropolis.

Condos and townhouses are in high demand, especially in walkable neighborhoods with easy access to amenities. The luxury market is also making a comeback, with high-end properties in areas like Point Grey and Shaughnessy fetching top dollar.


  • What impact did the foreign buyer’s tax have on Vancouver’s real estate market?

    The foreign buyer’s tax, introduced in 2016, was aimed at cooling the market by discouraging speculative investments from overseas. It led to a temporary dip in prices and sales, particularly in the luxury segment, as the market adjusted to the new tax.

  • How has the pandemic changed buyer preferences in Vancouver?

    The pandemic has shifted buyer preferences towards larger homes with outdoor spaces and home offices. There’s also been a trend towards suburban and rural areas, as remote work has become more feasible and desirable.

  • Is Vancouver’s real estate market currently a buyer’s or seller’s market?

    As of my latest experience, it leans more towards a seller’s market, with high demand and limited inventory driving up prices. However, this can vary by neighborhood and property type.


In the past decade, Vancouver’s real estate market has been a testament to resilience and transformation. From the heady days of rapid growth to the sobering introduction of market-cooling measures, and through the unexpected twists of a global pandemic, this market has seen it all. Today, it stands as a mature, dynamic marketplace that continues to attract attention from around the globe.

For those looking to invest or find a home in this beautiful city, the story of the last ten years is a reminder of the market’s cyclical nature. It’s a market that rewards patience, research, and sometimes, a bit of boldness. As we move forward, one thing’s for sure: Vancouver’s real estate market will continue to evolve, and we’ll be watching with bated breath to see what the next decade holds.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a hopeful first-time buyer, keeping an eye on Vancouver’s real estate market is always a good idea. After all, it’s not just about the homes we buy or sell; it’s about the community we build and the future we shape together. So, here’s to the next chapter in Vancouver’s real estate story – may it be as exciting as the last!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.