Yes, I hear you say, here comes his favourite word – demand! That’s unfair or maybe only partially true. My “trinity” of favourites is that one, Supply and the delicious one Cycles. The Upper Tier Update produced quarterly by Homes Of Provenance (Metro Vancouver) shows an extremely healthy upsurge (final quarter 2013 vs 2014) and while those statistics clearly impact the “average price” of each category of residential R/E (Detached/Attached and Apartments) this does not imply a greater level of activity (units sold) in this Upper Tier. I am part of the RE/MAX metro group of Associates and would be happy to add you to the list receiving that Quarterly Update by e-mail.
Our RE/MAX CREST Realtors have been quite amazed by the preponderance of “competitive bids” or as the jargon goes ‘Multiple Offers’ evident in this 1st month of 2015. I do not believe that there is any colleague on our North Shore who is not aware of this phenomenon and many have been personally involved in representing buyers or sellers who have encountered this situation. The evident lack of supply and the number of wannabe buyers has exacerbated this frenzied time and is resulting in many “above asking” sales prices. Roll on additional inventory (new listings) and a more temperate February and beyond. I am pleased to say that I have been approached by 3 serious sellers in the past 5 or 6 days and believe that even this small flurry is a move in the right direction. We are now seeing the “bubble theorists” tempering their rhetoric however I know that I am not alone in my belief that the ‘petroleum’ price cycle we are encountering will likely put the brakes on a rampant acceleration in residential prices. Evidence Edmonton, Calgary and other Alberta locations. A correction yes, but a “blood bath” no.
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And now, the figures for the opening month of 2015 in comparison to that of 2014. North Van detached homes sold are up 28% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 15% and apartments up 18%. The detached average price is up 17% and inventory is down by 23% from 2014. Average prices up 11% (t/hses) and up 11% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 94 vs.96, down 2% from Jan 30th 2014 and (apt) down 13% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Jan 2015 is up by 6% from Jan 2014. Average price of what has sold is up 2% from last year and inventory now down 7% from Jan 30th 2014. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold Jan 2015 are up from 2014 at 4 vs. 3 units with a $750k decrease in average price. Active listings are identical year over year as at Jan 30th 2014 (33 vs. 33). Note how meaningless these “small sample size” stats can be – this will become more relevant as the year progresses. Apartments reflect a mere 7 sold in 2015 vs. 12 in 2014 with average price up 67% from Jan 30th 2014 and active listings down 21% from Jan 30th 2014.
Super rich love Vancouver and Toronto
The world’s super-rich love buying property in Vancouver and Toronto, according to a new report by realtors Knight Frank. The study found that New York and Aspen top the list of 100 global locations favoured by the wealthiest investors, but Vancouver and Toronto also made the top 30 at numbers 25 and 30, respectively. To be considered wealthy for this poll buyers needed at least U$30 million in assets. Their spending power pushed up prices of luxury homes by 7.5 per cent in Vancouver and 5.3 per cent in Toronto for the 12 months to December 2014.
Townhouses needed to ease Vancouver’s affordability issue
Building more townhouses would help to ease the pressure on the housing market in Vancouver, according to a new report. The UDI/Vancity Housing Affordability Index highlights that a lack of townhouses means growing families stay in their existing homes longer than they would like, which in turn ties up property that first-time buyers could afford. Additionally, those looking to downsize do not have enough options. Jon Bennest of Urban Analytics told the Vancouver Sun that the lack of zoning for townhouses is one of the reasons for the undersupply; land is being made available for mid or low-rise condo developments with only a few townhouses on the ground level. The firm’s Michael Ferreira said that there needs to be more land zoned for townhouse developments, He also recognized that this could be hard to do in downtown Vancouver, but acknowledged that some other communities would be ideal. The city’s planning manager Brian Jackson said that officials are looking to increase the number of townhouses in the city because they see the benefits of more being available.