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August 2010 Real Estate Stats for Greater Vancouver

August 2010 Real Estate Stats for Greater Vancouver

Buyers Market as Stable Conditions Continue

September 2, 2010

Conditions in the Greater Vancouver housing market continued to favour buyers in August. Since April, prices have edged down slightly as the number of sales and the number of properties coming on to the market have been declining.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,202 in August 2010. This represents a 36 per cent decline from the 3,441 sales in August 2009, the second highest selling August ever recorded, and a 2.4 per cent decline compared to July 2010.

From a wider perspective, last month’s residential sales represent a 40.4 per cent increase over the 1,568 residential sales in August 2008, a 34.9 per cent decline compared to August 2007’s 3,384 sales, and a 26.6 per cent decline compared to August 2006’s 2,998 sales.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.5 per cent to 3,750 in August 2010 compared to August 2009 when 4,544 new units were listed. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 15,421, a 6.1 per cent decline from last month and a 29 per cent increase from August 2009.

“We’re seeing moderate demand, low interest rates and a healthy but slowing stream of supply in our marketplace, all variables that favour those looking to purchase a home,” Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said. “The last few months have also shown some stability when it comes to price fluctuations in the region, which is a welcome trend after reaching record highs in April.”

Since spring, housing prices have decreased 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April when the residential benchmark price was $593,419. Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 6.9 per cent to $576,597 in August 2010 from $539,600 in August 2009.

“Canada remains an attractive destination for foreign buyers, a fact that continues to affect activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Moldowan said.

Sales of detached properties in August 2010 reached 893, a decrease of 34.7 per cent from the 1,367 detached sales recorded in August 2009 and a 66.9 per cent increase from the 535 units sold in August 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 8.5 per cent from August 2009 to $795,076.

Sales of apartment properties reached 935 in August 2010, a decline of 36.1 per cent compared to the 1,464 sales in August 2009 and an increase of 26.4 per cent compared to the 740 sales in August 2008.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.5 per cent from August 2009 to $385,968.

Attached property sales in August 2010 totaled 374, a decline of 38.7 per cent compared to the 610 sales in August 2009 and a 27.6 per cent increase from the 293 attached properties sold in August 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.6 per cent between August 2009 and 2010 to $489,511.

Prices are slightly down and sales are down, but there is a lot of activity in the market and multiple offers and quick sales close to full asking are happening every day.

For the timid Buyer, I can reassure now is an excellent time to Buy, interest rates are low and are forecasted to stay low for the next 2-3 years, supply is up (unlike the spring when Demand sucked up all the good product) and good deals are out there to be had as motivated sellers are out there.

Buyers can wait a year but then what? Higher interest rates, tighter supply, and the average price may be 5% higher or lower?

I encourage people to get pre-qualified, if you have the money to invest, invest it. If you need a place to live, buy a home. For everyone waiting for the Vancouver market to crash you are going to be waiting for a long time. The only way I see the market crashing is if interest rates go way up, and if they do, guess what, your cost of borrowing is way up and you won't be able to Buy despite a depreciation in the average home price (unless you have cash).

Find a home you love, then get a tenacious Realtor like myself to get you a smoking deal, a deal reflective of a downturn in the market so over time as the market appreciates, you will have a rock solid asset you use and love and you build equity for your retirement or to upgrade to your next piece of Real Esate.

If you have any questions about the Vancouver Real Estate Market and Investing in Vancouver Real Estate please do not hesitate to contact me at 604.562.0532.

Best Regards,

Stu Bell