The New Year arrived, as predicted and on time on January 1st. We know it did as that occurrence is now in the past AND they reported it in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. Your scribe and his equally crazy wife have the photographs and two buttons reading ‘English Bay Beach – January 1, 2015 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club’ to prove it, a first for us and a steady shrinking of bucket list items! I guess this activity helps to link things like climbing Everest, frigid water and the question WHY?
What the foregoing clumsily illustrates is the ease with which we can “predict” the past, or things that have happened. Crystal-balling the future is murky at best. I will admit to plagiarizing some thoughts after reading a well written column by Daphne Bramham in the Vancouver Sun (…you remember, the ones that, in the preceding paragraph predicted/confirmed the arrival of 2015) produced Jan 3rd thus confirming their dedication to factual journalism by waiting until The Day had arrived! Ms Bramham’s column was headed “Its a New Year. Let’s all slow down, check our facts and think”. It was a plea for less ‘uninformed criticism and opinion’ and can be accessed at rem.ax/1FOTK5F
Part of her treatise focuses on our upcoming Federal election and the challenge we all face in the “(negative) attacks …eroding citizens trust in politicians, politics and even democracy”. She refers to Kirk LaPoint, (Gregor Robinson’s) major opponent in the recent Vancouver Mayoral election, saying that he would quit if his party went negative. It is not for me to say if his party (or he) did, you make that call, but a defamation suit was filed against him.
Enough quoting! The key message of the column was, I believe, to i)give credence only to those claims that are based on verifiable data and ii)be wary of “endlessly repeated ads, strident social media (tweets), knee jerk reaction or ideological cant (passed off) as opinion. Likewise opinion on Real Estate not based on factual data should be questioned. Consider the many commentators over the past 10 years who have assured their disciples that ANY increase creates a ‘bubble’ that MUST burst. My strong belief in the cyclical nature of Real Estate values, is I know, evident and clearly borne out by statistical data over time. Please see the REBGV data covering the year to date changes for 2013/2014 shown below. We will however follow with interest the impact of petroleum prices on the residential market. More to come……
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.
Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.
And now, as promised, the final figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 12% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 12% and apartments up 15%. The detached average price is up 10% and inventory is down by 25% from 2013. Average prices up 2% (t/hses) and up almost 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 92 vs.116, down 20% from Dec 31st 2013 and (apt) down 2% from last year for the same date. It is of interest to note that the total dollar amount spent on homes in N Van rose by just over 21% or approximately $380million.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for calendar 2014 is up by 7% from Dec 31st 2013. Average price of what has sold is up 9% from last year and inventory now down 10% from Dec 31st 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are down from 2013 at 74 vs. 90 units with a 6% decrease in average price. Active listings are up year over year from Dec 31st 2013 by 25% (39 vs. 31). Apartments reflect 181 sold in 2014 vs. 159 in 2013 with average price up 3% from Dec 31st 2013 and active listings down 26% from Dec 31st 2013. Again it is of interest to note that the total dollar amount spent on homes in W Van rose by just over 15% or approximately $319million.
The annual Emerging Real Estate Trends report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that the overall real estate market in Canada will continue to be steady well into 2015, while Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver will take it up a notch as ‘best bets’ based on investment, housing and development.
The study predicts, “Economic growth in western Canada will continue to drive significant opportunity in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon in the residential, commercial, and office sectors. Despite continuing and ongoing concerns about overvaluation, Toronto’s housing market continues as a solid performer, while office and industrial sectors remain strong. Montreal looks to revitalize its treasured retail district to boost an increasingly condo-driven core. In Atlantic Canada, Halifax will build up commercial and office space while hoping for the residential market’s sluggishness to end. And everywhere, industry players will search for opportunities in and around the city cores— capitalizing on the trends of urbanization and reverse migration that show little sign of abating.”
If this is the year you plan on making a move, please call today to discuss your buying and selling goals. We’ll sit down and review your current housing situation and the latest market activity in your current location, and the area you’re interested in moving to. Taking the time to do your research now, before the market gears up for the busy spring season, makes sense for both buyers and sellers.
Please call today for your no-obligation real estate review!