Just take a look at the “numbers” paragraphs for both North Van and West Van and, even a hard bitten Real Estate watcher cannot fail to be stunned by the volume of sales over the first quarter of this year (even when compared to 2014’s 1st Q which was no slouch itself). The most common non-verbal action associated with this is clearly the right to left wagging of the head followed by a left to right action of that same body part. Maybe it’s because it contains our organ of rational thought and some facts challenge our ability to understand (or is it our our aversion to change?) Why should we appear flummoxed and use words like insane, ridiculous, ludicrous and ‘just plain crazy’? You guessed what’s coming next….extremely high demand (much of it pent-up) will invariably lead to an increase in the number of sales. And guess what? ….. the unfulfilled, wannabe homeowners (both ‘immigrator’ and local) will cause the prices to climb. Wow!
Why I referred to “pent-up demand” is because I believe that a number of those buying recently and a number who will take the plunge in the next couple of months are the same folk who were of the fervent belief, over the past few years, that “prices must be heading for a reversal”. Vancouver has demonstrated No but more vulnerable ‘commodity driven’ markets (eg. Calgary, Fort McMurray) demonstrated Yes. Even Mr Oliver, our Minister of Finance declared in the past few days that they foresee no looming ‘bubble’. Reassuringly ‘conservative’? – your call. My prediction – North Shore demand will remain healthy for the foreseeable future and will start to soften just before the market enters its next correction phase (a slight one). Please read the foregoing carefully as it is somewhat of a truism 😉 ! … see also ‘the weather will get warmer as we enter Summer’ and ‘daylight savings’ alters sunrise and sunset times. Are we still confounded?
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And now, the figures for the first three months of 2015 in comparison to those of 2014. North Van detached homes sold are up 31% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 73% and apartments up 54%. The detached median price is up 18% and inventory is up by 6% from 2014. Median prices up 2% (t/hses) and up 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) up 24% from March 31st 2014 and (apt) up 49% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Mar 2015 is up by 58% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 8% from last year and inventory now up 29% from Mar 31st 2014. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold by Mar 2015 are up from 2014 at 27 vs. 17 units. Active listings are up 20% year over year at (42 vs. 35). Because of the “small sample size” some median prices are not available. Apartments reflect 45 sold in 2015 vs. 35 in 2014 with average price down 6% and active listings up 45% from Mar 31st 2014.
I’ve had a number of requests for an updated version of the Average Price Graph published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Here it is… enjoy!