This is the headline for this month update from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV): “Buyer’s market conditions continue in Greater Vancouver.” As the head lines say buyers had the advantage in August in the Metro Vancouver housing market. We have been seeing a slight decline since April, in both prices and the number of sales. This is a typical seasonal trend as the numbers of properties coming on to the market have been declining as well.
The REBGV stated that the number of residential properties sold in Greater Vancouver totaled 2,202 in August. Since last year this is a 36% decline from the 3,441 sales in “the hot” August 2009 market (the second highest selling August ever recorded). When compared to July of this year, there was only a 2.4% decline in the sales numbers month to month.
Jake Moldowan, REBGV President states, “We’re seeing moderate demand, low interest rates and a healthy but slowing stream of supply in our marketplace, all variables that favour those looking to purchase a home. The last few months have also shown some stability when it comes to price fluctuations in the region, which is a welcome trend after reaching record highs in April.”
Some benchmarks to keep in mind are from the height of the market in the spring, we have seen housing prices decrease 2.8% from an all-time high in April using the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver. At that point, the residential benchmark price was $593,419. When you look at pricing over the last 12 months, we see a gain of 6.9%t to $576,597 in August, 2010 from $539,600 in August, 2009.
Factors that need to be considered are: “Canada remains an attractive destination for foreign buyers, a fact that continues to affect activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Moldowan said. So keep in mind there are a whole host of factors that affect the market and for now, we are not anticipating any major changes one way or another as job security and consumer confidence also remains relatively strong. Whether prices continue on this trend or not seasonally we tend to see an uptick in activity in the fall and we expect this fall to be no different.