Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market Trending to Buyers’ Market Over Summer

MarketUpdateAccording to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) home sales trended toward a buyers’ market over the summer. Many buyers were away on holidays, leaving listings to sit idle.

“MLS® statistics continue to indicate that we’re in a balanced market…However, with a sales-to-actives listings ratio of 15 per cent, Greater Vancouver is in the lower end of a balanced market and has been trending toward a buyers’ market over the past three months,” stated REBGV president Rosario Setticasi in the August issue of News Flash, published by the REBGV.

August was the third consecutive month that home sale activity in Metro Vancouver was below the 10-year average for that month. On the listing side, however, activity in the region has exceeded the 10-year norm every month since the beginning of 2011. Good old supply and demand tells us that with lots of selection and little demand from the buying side we get the proper conditions for a buyers market! It is hard say how long it will last, but the market does tend to slow down during summer.

REBGV reported that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reached 2,378 in August. This total is an 8% jump over the 2,202 sales in August 2010, but it also ranks as the third lowest total for August over the last 10 years. This might indicate that the buyers’ market could be short lived if the fall market picks up with lots of buyer activity.

At 15,437, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 1.4% in August compared to July 2011 and rose 0.1% compared to this time last year. So, for the most part, it is business as usual.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver over the last year rose 8.5% to $625,578 in August 2011 from $576,597 in August 2010. “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,” said Setticasi.

Setticasi also warned, “It’s important for people entering the market to understand that activity can differ significantly depending on the area and property type.” This is important to keep in mind, because often the media will grab a headline or quote and apply broad brush inferences or ideas about the real estate market that may not always be correct. Working with good professionals that know the market remains important for any transaction.

Sales of detached properties/houses on the MLS® in August 2011 reached 1,020, a boost of 14.2% from the 893 detached sales recorded in August 2010, indicating where most of the action has been over the summer. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11.7% from August 2010 to $888,243.

Sales of apartment properties/condos reached 955 in August 2011, a 2.1% bump compared to the 935 sales in August 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 5.6% from August 2010 to $407,457.

Attached property/townhome sales in August 2011 totalled 403, a 7.8% increase compared to the 374 sales in August 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.5% between August 2010 and 2011, to $511,433.

For now, the market continues to move at a slow and study pace. The fall of 2011 will likely see a bit of a pick up in activities as focus turns away from holidays and time with family, to business and


Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s News Flash September 2, 2011

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REBGV Newsflash – August Statistics Videocast


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