Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market Falls to Buyers

buyers-marketMetro Vancouver home listings continue to rise this fall, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), indicating that we are rounding the corner on a buyers’ market. There are now a growing number of listings from the summer slowness, yet sales have not followed, making the saturated market a good buying opportunity.

The REBGV states “residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reached 2,246 in September, a 1.2% increase compared to the 2,220 sales in September 2010. Those sales also rank as the third lowest total for September over the last 10 years.” Furthermore, REBGV president Rosario Setticasi declared, “There’s more competition amongst home sellers in today’s market, providing more options for prospective buyers… Buyers now have more properties to choose from and more time to make decisions compared to the spring season.”

The market never continues in one direction for ever and it appears the buyers will now get their turn.

In a 20.1% jump compared to the previous year, the fall market saw a large burst of new listings., “New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,680 in September, the third highest volume for September in 17 years,” noted REBGV.” (The builders have been busy!)

Since the beginning of 2011, month over month we have seen listing climb steadily, with the number of properties for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® system now at 16,085. The total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 4.6% in September compared to August 2011, and rose 4.4% compared to this time last year.

“Our sales-to-active-listing ratio currently sits at 14%, which is the lowest it’s been this year. Generally, analysts say that a buyers’ market takes shape when the ratio dips to about 12% to 14%, or lower, for a sustained period of time,” Setticasi said.

According to the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) “benchmark prices for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver over the last 12 months have increased 8.8% to $627,994 in September 2011 from $577,174 in September 2010. These numbers are off the pinnacle of $630,921 set in June 2011, which further supports the case for softening prices and is a harbinger of the now looming buyers’ market.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in September 2011 reached 957, an increase of 10.5% from the 866 detached sales recorded the previous year, and a 32.8% drop from the 1,423 units sold in September 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.4% from September 2010 to $896,701.

Sales of apartment properties/condos reached 922 this September; a 5% decrease compared to the 971 sales the year before, and a drop of 38.1% compared to the 1,489 sales in September 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property edged up 4.4% from September 2010 to $405,569.

Attached property/townhomes sales in September 2011 totalled 367, a 4.2% shift down compared to the 383 sales in September 2010. They also dropped to nearly half the level sold in 2009, down a 43.3% compared to the 647 units sold in September of that year. The benchmark price of an attached unit hopped up 5.4% between September 2010 and 2011, to $516,697.

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver New Flash for October 2, 2011
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Metro Vancouver Market Snapshot

By comparing the number of listings on market with the number of sales in the last 30 days you can get an idea of how long it will take for the market to sell its current inventory. In a healthy balanced market you would expect to see anywhere from 2-4 months’ supply; in a buyers’ market it is typically greater than 4 months.

Detached (Houses) # of Listings # of Sales per last 30 days # of months supply
Burnaby 462 47 9.8
Coquitlam 482 68 7.1
North Vancouver 351 60 5.9
New Westminster 91 25 3.6
Port Moody 128 10 12.8
Port Coquitlam 146 27 5.4
Richmond 906 62 14.6
Vancouver W 829 76 10.9
Vancouver E 587 102 5.8
West Vancouver 478 52 9.2
Attached (condo/townhomes) # of Listings # of Sales per last 30 days # of months supply
Burnaby 1082 110 9.8
Coquitlam 508 33 15.4
North Vancouver 568 55 10.3
New Westminster 393 39 10.1
Port Moody 272 22 12.4
Port Coquitlam 294 23 12.8
Richmond 1353 100 13.5
Vancouver W 2180 228 9.6
Vancouver E 667 80 8.3
West Vancouver 134 8 16.8

So, for sellers these numbers mean that you must be priced sharply to attract a buyer. Homes are selling, but the question is, are you priced to be in the group that sells?

If you are a buyer looking for a good deal, considering looking in areas where inventory levels are the highest in order to find the most motivated sellers.

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