Stability in the Vancouver Real Estate Market is Firmly in Place

MarketUpdateWhile The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) announced, “Spring months bring balance to Greater Vancouver housing market,” I would say in many instances the Spring market started late but really got going (even to the point of a Sellers’ market in some areas once again!). After several rounds of the Federal Government trying to cool off the real estate market, it is no wonder the trend for home sales in Metro Vancouver continued to be below the 10-year average in May. However, with the 5 year interest rate taking a slight bump up, the balance of sales and listings meant continued market stability through the spring, with likely a little more interest in the market as buyers may choose to take advantage of holds on their mortgage rates.

Sales Numbers

The REBGV reported, “Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,882 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2013.” Year over year that was a 1% shift up compared to the 2,853 sales recorded in May 2012, and when compared to the slower month of April, it was a 9.7% jump compared to the 2,627 sales in April.

When looking at last month’s sales they were 19.4% below the 10-year sales average for the month of May, while on the other side of the coin, new listings were 7.4% below the 10-year average.

Sandra Wyant, REBGV President stated, “We’ve seen some steadying trends over the last three months…The number of homes listed for sale has been keeping pace with the number of property sales, leading to a balanced sales-to-listings ratio. This is having a stabilizing influence on home price activity.”

Listing Levels

In May, new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,656. The constant media bombardment had been telling people “the sky will fall” and “prices are too high and will come crashing down when the bubble bursts.” This caused many would be sellers to step to the sidelines this spring. We saw an 18.3% drop compared to the 6,927 new listings reported in May 2012 and a 3.7% drop when comparing to April from the 5,876 of new listings this year. The funny thing is we still had a strong demand for property. With a more limited selection in some areas, there have been multiple offer situations once again with prices being bid up.

In Metro Vancouver the total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® is 17,222, a 3.4% decrease when compared to May of last year and a 2.9% jump when compared to April of this year.

Market Trends

The overall sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 17% in Metro Vancouver which is a healthy place to be. The REBGV states, “This is the third straight month that this ratio has been above 15 per cent. Previous to this, May of 2012 was the last time this ratio was above 15 per cent.” This indicates stability in the market place.

When evaluating the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver, it currently is at $598,400. Sometimes people do not realise the market is constantly shifting up and down and rarely stays in a straight line. So when we compare the benchmark price, it is interesting to note it has slid off 4.3% when compared to this time last year and actually increased 1.8% when compared to this January. This indicates that while prices are off from the height of last year, prices are once again strengthening.

Sales of detached properties in May, 2013 for Metro Vancouver:

– 1,212 units – ↑2.75% compared to 1,180 sales in May, 2012.

The benchmark price ↓ 5.2% from the year before to $917,200.

Sales of apartment/condo properties in May, 2013 for Metro Vancouver:

-1,136 units – ↓ 1.7% compared to 1,156 sales in May, 2012.

The benchmark price of an apartment property ↓ 3.7% from the year before to $365,600.


Sales of attached property/town homes in May, 2013 for Metro Vancouver:

-534 units – ↑ 3.3% compared to 517 sales in May, 2012.

The benchmark price of an attached property ↓ 3.2% from the year before to $454,900.
Download the complete stats package from the board by clicking here.

Source: REBGV News Release; June 4, 2013.

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