Opportunity Knocks in Metro Vancouver


September’s Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

There are often two sides to a story and two sides to a market. The opportunity for home buyers in Vancouver is looking good for those willing to step up and take advantage of lower interest rates. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) headline this month read, “Home sellers continue to outnumber buyers in Greater Vancouver’s summer housing market.” The market is always a dynamic place and yet the summer market, while slower, will not necessarily dictate the pace of the market going into the fall.

When evaluating the “home sale activity” in Metro Vancouver through August the market remained below long-term averages. The REBGV reported residential property sales across all property types reached 1,649 in August. When compared to August of 2011 there was a 30.7% drop and when compared to the month before, there was a 21.4% decline with 2,098 sales in July, 2012. August sales in Metro Vancouver were the second lowest total for the month in the region (2,711) in 14 years, since 1998, and 39.2% below the 10-year sales average.

Eugen Klein, REBGV president stated, “Home sales this summer have been lower than we’ve seen for most of the past ten years, yet we continue to see relative stability when it comes to prices…For sellers it’s critical to work with your REALTOR® to understand today’s market and to develop the best strategy for selling your home.” He further said, “On average it’s taking about two months for a home to sell on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver today.” When reading between the lines, we have the forces of buyers and sellers counteracting each other. Buyers are waiting for prices to drop and sellers are waiting for buyers to buy with little desire to drop prices. Where the opportunity lies in this market (as in any market) is where sellers are motivated and there is more opportunities to find motivated sellers in slow markets… “Today, our sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 9 per cent, which puts us in a buyer’s market. This ratio has been declining in our market since March when it was 19 per cent,” Klein said.

In Metro Vancouver, new listings for all types of residential properties totalled 4,044 in August. Compared to last year, this is a 13.7% decline when 4,685 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 15.8% decline compared to the 4,802 new listings in July, 2012. In August, 17,567 was the total number of residential properties listed on the MLS®. This is a 13.8% increase from the same time last year, and 2.8% decrease in number of properties listed in August compared to July, 2012.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $609,500. Compared to the same time last year we are down 0.5% and 1.1% compared to July.

Sales of detached properties in August, 2012 for Metro Vancouver:

– 624 units – ↓38.8% compared to 1,020 sales in August, 2011.

The benchmark price ↑ 0.2 % from the year before to $942,100.

Sales of apartment/condo properties in August, 2012 for Metro Vancouver:

-725 units – ↓ 24.1% compared to 955 sales in August, 2011.

The benchmark price of an apartment property ↑ 0.9% from the year before to $370,100.


Sales of attached property/town homes in August, 2012 for Metro Vancouver:

-300 units – ↓ 25.6% compared to 403 sales in August, 2011.

The benchmark price of an attached property ↓ 1.9% from the year before to $462,300.
Download the complete stats package by clicking here.

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, News Release, September 5, 2012.

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