January 2011 Metro Vancouver Real Estate Update

Real Estate Market Stable at Year-end MarketUpdate

2010 was an interesting year for the Metro Vancouver residential housing market and perhaps not what was expected! The market moved through three distinctive phases: Continued buoyancy from the post-recession recovery at the beginning of the year, followed in the summer by a lull and, throughout the fall, a sustained period of stability.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2010 reached 30,595, a 14.2% fall from the sales recorded in 2009, but a 24.2% increase from the 24,626 residential sales in 2008. Last year’s number of housing sales was 10.3 per cent below the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales in the region. It is expected the market will continue along this same type of track for much of 2011.

The numbers of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver were up 9.7% in 2010 compared to the properties listed in 2009. If we look back to 2008, last year’s total represents a 7.3% decline compared to the residential properties listed at that time. The number of properties added to the MLS® peaked in April and generally declined for the remainder of the year.

Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said, “The last two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the real estate market. However, sales over the past six months have definitely shown a trend toward stability. We think that’s good news for home buyers and sellers…The Greater Vancouver housing market experienced a modest increase in home prices in 2010, and a continual decrease in the number of properties being listed for sale.”

Residential property sales in Metro Vancouver totaled 1,899 in December of 2010, a 24.5% decrease compared to December of 2009, when the 2,515 sales reached an all time record for the month. This is a 24.3% drop compared to November of 2010 when 2,509 home sales occurred. 

The residential benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for Metro Vancouver increased 2.7% to $577,808 between Decembers of 2009 and 2010. However, prices have decreased 2.6% since hitting a peak of $593,419 in April 2010. One point to keep in mind as these last set of numbers indicates, is the market never moves in a straight line. It is constantly going up and down. This is why one should not focus so much on the market (as it is always changing) but focus on the deal that makes good sense.

“Although we saw some pressure on home prices throughout the year, home values in 2010 remained relatively steady in the region compared to the last few years when we witnessed much more fluctuation,” Moldowan said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Vancouver totaled 1,699 in December of 2010. This represents a 21.1% decline compared to the units listed in December of 2009 and a 43.9% drop compared to November of 2010. Sales of detached properties in December of 2010 reached 769, a decrease of 14.8% from the detached sales recorded in December of 2009, and a 121.1% boost from the units sold in December of 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 4.0% from December 2009 to $797,868.

Sales of apartment properties reached 811 in December of 2010, a drop of 29.7% compared to the sales in December of 2009, and an increase of 94.5% compared to the sales in December of 2008.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.2% from December 2009 to $387,115.

Attached property sales in December, 2010, totaled 319, a decline of 30.5% compared to the sales in December of 2009, and a 100.6% jump from the number of attached properties sold in December of 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit rose 2.7% between December 2009 and 2010 to $490,869.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver News Release VANCOUVER, B.C. – January 5, 2011 


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