Vancouver Real Estate Falling Into A Buyers Market?

Posted on Sunday, September 25th, 2011 at 4:22pm.

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Sales and new listings were down for August however, recent market activity indicates that we're not done yet! We had a great spell of extraordinary weather which had Vancouverites out and about, trying to enjoy the remainder of what turned out to be a very short summer. Now that fall routines have set in and everyone is back at work and school, the race is on. Buyers and sellers alike are making a last push before the rain (really) begins and the holidays start knocking.

For example in North Vancouver, new listings are coming on at a steady pace and we're seeing some sellers reduce their pricing in an effort to revive older listings. Buyers are taking advantage of the increased inventory and properly priced, move-in ready homes are selling quickly. In the past 30 days there have been there have been 51 detached home sales in North Vancouver. Seventeen of which resulted in home buyers paying list price or higher. The most significant being 46K over asking. Similar activity is being experienced in many other Vancouver markets as well. This past spring, where we would have seen 10+ offers per home, we are now only seeing 2 or 3. 

Recently experts have been taking back some dire predictions about the real estate market in Vancouver which is now expected to remain stable over the next few years. It will undoubtedly be slowed down by global issues, moderate employment and population growth, and changes to mortgage insurance rules however, local economist Bryan Yu, stated in a recent news release that “the slowing of the housing market won’t ebb the median price of homes in the province."

Interest rates are expected to remain at record low levels while new home builders are left in limbo. Although new housing starts are up, the most recent information from the Canadian government indicates that the HST will continue to be in effect until (at least) May 2013. This will negatively impact consumer demand but it will also help to offset any global economic influence on resale housing throughout 2012 which is now expected to end the year 4.7% ahead of last year.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,685 in August 2011. This represents a 24.9% increase compared to August 2010 and an 8% decline compared to July 2011.

Residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 2,378 in August, an 8% increase compared August 2010 and an 8% decline compared to July 2011.

Simply broken out, Vancouver home sales look like this:

Greater Vancouver Area August 2011 August 2010 July 2011
Detached Units Sold 1,021 893 1,099
Attached Units Sold 403
374
432
Apartment Condo Units Sold 955
935
1,040

Compared to July 2011, the Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark for single family, attached and condos decreased slightly for single family and attached housing from $898,886 to $888,243 and from $524,909 to $511,433 respectively, while apartment condos increased marginally from $405,306 to $407,457.

In Greater Vancouver, over the past 12 months, the benchmark price for all residential properties (detached, attached and condos) has increased by 8.5% from $576,597 to $625,578.

“Year over year, prices are up. However, in the detached home category, benchmark prices have come down slightly in each of the past two months,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “It’s important for people entering the market to understand that activity can differ significantly depending on the area and property type.”

In West Vancouver, detached homes sales throughout the spring and summer year have bounced around but they consistently land in the 1.7 million dollar range. On the flipside, North Vancouver's detached real estate market has continued on a slow but somewhat steady climb, increasing from $939,612 to $969,976 over July. North Vancouver attached home values have decreased from $670,360 to $626,022 while both North Vancouver and West Vancouver condo sales continue to show stability, increasing slightly month over month.

MLSLINK HPI - August 2011


Property Type Area Benchmark Price Price Range 3 Month Avg Benchmark Price 1 Year Change 3 Year Change 5 Year Change
Detached Greater Vancouver $888,243

+1.2%

$896,270 +11.7% +20.4% +35.9%
Detached North Vancouver $969,976 +2.9% $960,871 +10.3% +11.7% +26.6%
Detached Vancouver West $1,963,426 +2.7% $2,025,542 +19.6% +43.1% +69.5%
Detached West Vancouver $1,760,710 +4.5% $1,761,292 +26.7% +16.4% +36.1%
Property Type Area Benchmark Price Price Range 3 Month Avg Benchmark Price 1 Year Change 3 Year Change 5 Year Change
Attached Greater Vancouver $511,433

+0.9%

$519,589 +4.5% +10.4% +25.8%
Attached North Vancouver $626,022 +3.4% $643,826 +6.2% +9.2% +20.4%
Attached Vancouver West $798,081 +3.3% $810,359 +6.5% +14.6% +33.6%
Attached West Vancouver n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Property Type Area Benchmark Price Price Range 3 Month Avg Benchmark Price 1 Year Change 3 Year Change 5 Year Change
Condo Greater Vancouver $407,457

+0.6%

$405.988 +5.6% +8.8% +22.9%
Condo North Vancouver $395,308 +2.4% $391,359 +3.4% +6.6% +15.6%
Condo Vancouver West $524,432 +1.2% $522,492 +6.7% +11.9% +23.5%
Condo West Vancouver $739,225 +9.8% $712,251 +21.2 +16.8% +26.6%

Stats are provided by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver; feel free to view the complete REBGV Stats Package for August, 2011 on their website. VGJTSUJNMBHZ

Attached Greater Vancouver $511,039 +0.7% $504,432 +3.6% +7.9% +35.9%
Attached North Vancouver $637,633 +2.4% $612,752 +4.6% +2.5% +31.2%
Attached Vancouver West $782,842 +2.5% $771,100 +1.6% +10.0% +41.5%
Attached West Vancouver n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
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