Summer Surprises as July continues with Strong Sales Activity

MarketUpdateA year ago around this time the government once again took measures to slow down the Canadian Real Estate Market but as you will read below, our current Vancouver market continues to be active. This jump is likely due to the shift in interest rates with pre-approved buyers wanting to lock in their “reserved rates.”

Sales Numbers

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported recently, “July home sales’ activity increases in Greater Vancouver,” indicating the typically slower summer has continued to see a “good pace” for housing sales activity in July. What was really surprising though is July was the highest selling month of the year so far in Metro Vancouver (and the most sales for a July since 2009). Furthermore, the REBGV reported that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 2,946 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July this year. When evaluating July to other benchmark periods, we see a 40.4% jump compared to the 2,098 sales recorded in the same month in 2012, and an 11.5% bump compared to the 2,642 sales recorded the month before (June).

To put a long term context to these numbers, last month’s sales volumes were 0.1% over the 10-year sales average for the month. Moreover, Sandra Wyant, REBGV President said, “Demand has strengthened in our market in the last few months, which can in part be attributed to pent-up demand from the slow-down in sales activity from the end of last year.”

What all this means is: If you are looking to sell now, it is an excellent time to get in touch with a good real estate agent to explore your options.

Listings Levels

New listings across all types of properties (detached, attached and apartment properties) in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,854 in July. This was a 1.1% shift up compared to the 4,802 new listings reported in the same time period the year before in 2012, and a 0.4% drop compared to our recent June listings of this year with 4,874.

According to the REBGV, “The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,618.” Compared to July of 2012, this is an 8.1% drop and when evaluating these numbers compared to the previous month of June, 2013, we see a similar drop 3.9%. When evaluating the old equation of supply and demand, we know that with less inventory…”offers to buy” are often in competition and prices are bid up. This is another signal for people on the fence to “get in the game” and list their property!

Overall Market Numbers

The REBGV also stated, “… The sales-to-active-listings ratio rose 2.5% between June and July to 17.7 percent in Greater Vancouver.” This represents a new high water mark for this ratio since April of 2012.

When looking at home prices the “MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $601,900,” according to the REBGV. Interestingly, this shows a decline of 2.3% relative to this time a year ago, compared to an increase of 2.3% over the last six months. So essentially, the market is showing signs of rebounding back from a larger price deficit earlier in the year.

Sandra Wyant also said, “… [Home] prices continue to experience considerable stability with minimal fluctuation throughout much of this year…This stability in price brings greater certainty to the home buying and selling process.” While I do agree there is relative “stability” in the market and “over exuberant” sellers have come back to reality to a certain degree, with such a heady summer market I suggest the pendulum will swing once again as the market has done so many times in the past, most likely as we move forward into winter.

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

– 1,249 units – ↑ 59% compared to 787 sales in July, 2012.

The benchmark price ↓ 3.1% from the year before to $920,500.

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

-1,210 units – ↑ 31% compared to 927 sales in July, 2012.

The benchmark price of an apartment property ↓ 1.6% from the year before to $368,300.


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

-487 units – ↑ 27% compared to 384 sales in July, 2012.

The benchmark price of an attached property ↓ 2.6% from the year before to $456,700.

Source: REBGV News Release August 2, 2013
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One thought on “Summer Surprises as July continues with Strong Sales Activity

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