How Well Do We Stack Up?

I have decided this month to juxtapose a select portion of the Greater Vancouver results with those of the North Shore. Many colleagues of mine send their clients only this ‘REBGV Stats Package’ with the comments of the Board president. I believe that the aggregation of all the REBGV divisions can lead to assumptions being made that don’t necessarily represent a specific division (e.g. our N/Shore). See how they compare (or not). I am often asked how we differ from others suburbs, so hope this is of interest.

TITLE : The Greater Vancouver housing market enters the summer season with home buyer activity on the rise.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,406 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2014. This represents a 28.9% increase compared to the 2,642 sales recorded in June 2013, and a 3.7% increase compared to the 3,286 sales in May 2014.

Last month’s sales were 0.6% above the 10-year sales average for June of 3,386. “Competition amongst home buyers today is as strong as it’s been here since 2011,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said. The sales/active-listings ratio now sits at 21.3% in Greater Vancouver, the highest this measure has been since June 2011.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen changes in demand yet home prices at the regional level have remained relative stable” Harris said. “These numbers provide high level trends, but it’s important to know that changes in prices vary depending on location and property type. Consult a local REALTOR® for information on trends in your area”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,339 in June. This represents a 9.5% increase compared to the 4,874 new listings in June 2013 and a 10.1% decline from the 5,936 new listings in May. Last month’s new listing count was 2.6% below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver is 16,011, a 7.4% decline compared to June 2013 and a 0.4 % decrease compared to May 2014. Sales of detached properties in June 2014 reached 1,462, an increase of 32.7% from the 1,102 detached sales recorded in June 2013, and a 58.7% increase from the 921 units sold in June 2012.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,308 in June 2014, up 22.5% compared to the 1,068 sales in June 2013, and a 27.5% increase compared to the 1,026 sales in June 2012.

Attached property sales in June 2014 totalled 636, a 34.7% increase compared to the 472 sales in June 2013, and a 53.3% increase over the 415 attached properties sold in June 2012 ….. end of REBGV stats.

July 2014 Podcast

North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail. This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368 and 1-800-665-1455.

Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

July 2014 Numbers

So… now to our North Shore June figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 18% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 17% and apartments up 21%. The detached average price is up 10% and inventory is down by 19% from 2013. Average prices up 1% for both (t/hses) and (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 20% from Jun 30th 2013 and (apt) up17% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is now up by 25% from Jun 30th 2013. Average price of what has sold is up 8% from last year and inventory now down 11% from Jun 30th 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are up from 2013 at 32 vs. 28 units with a 7% decrease in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Jun 30th 2013 by 15% (50 vs. 59). Apartments reflect 67 sold in 2014 vs. 68 in 2013 with average price up 5% from May 31st 2013 and active listings 3% up from Jun 30th 2013.

On balance, we on the North Shore appear a touch weaker residential demand-wise. However our average prices are higher than most areas, bar the West Side. The first half of this year is nevertheless showing a steady improvement month over month.

Buying Your First Home – The Benefits Of Being Flexible

First time home buyers share a common dilemma. On one hand, most of them are on a tight budget and have limited resources. On the other hand, they have big dreams about the ideal house they would like to have.

It’s okay to have a wish list of features that you want in a home. In fact, it’s a very good idea. It will make your shopping much easier, and you will increase the chances of finding a property you like.

However in most cases the ideal dream home is far beyond the reach of many buyers, at least price wise. Even if their real estate agent is able to find a property with most of the features the buyer wants to have, the property may not be in the right neighbourhood or price range.

Getting into a starter home

You need to be flexible when choosing your first home. And if you’re not flexible with your wish list, you may miss out on some otherwise ideal opportunities. The perfect home, at the right price, may not exist on the market, but a property that meets most of your criteria probably does. Remember, the word ‘compromise’ need not imply failure but can indicate intelligent balance.

Unless you are status conscious, your first home doesn’t necessarily have to be your dream home. You could settle for a starter home, which you can afford with a small down payment and easy mortgage instalments.

Keep in mind that a less-than-perfect property can potentially be improved. If the house doesn’t have a spacious kitchen, you may be able to expand the kitchen area – perhaps by adding a pantry in an adjacent room. There are plenty of lower-priced houses out there in need of repair, with some “Do-It-Yourself” projects you can add more value to the house. Be careful not to buy a place where the cost of repairs will eat up any profits you might make when you sell.

In just a few years you will build enough equity in your starter home to make it easier for you to sell and move into to your dream home.

Buying your first home is an exciting process. After all, your home could be the largest asset you’ll ever own. Being able to finance most of its cost will take a load off your back in the future.