Last month, after a visit to London, I spoke about a message that our experience conveyed to both my wife and me; that of our City and its real estate concerns not being unique. This month I will be borrowing from King James (his translation and those of his predecessors) a few terms that may be quite pertinent: namely – covet, desire and greed. Right, I’ve already used the covet word (or a ‘declension’ thereof) in the headline which, together with desire, encapsulates the implied passion lurking in the need for acquiring homes in cities such as ours. The “g” word has been added as a judgemental descriptor to provoke some thought and discussion and to, hopefully, solicit your personal stand on this issue. That greed, and desire to maximize the investment return on the dollars received upon sale has been implied by some commentators. Again, use your own judgement, but, ask yourself “if I had a property which the marketplace (supply and demand) has deemed to be worth $2,500,000 would I sell it for less?” Sadly, implied evil has been used in some columns to taint various players. I totally hold to the notion that speculative profit must be declared by anyone who profits from transactions which are not their principal residence.
I am going to add a quote from the early March press release put out by the REBGV, 1st paragraph – this says it all …… “Last month was the highest selling February on record for the Metro Vancouver housing market” !!!!!! I know we had an extra day in Feb, but actual numbers were 4,173 for 2016 vs 3061 for 2015.
Not something to be celebrated or denigrated but merely an astonishing fact. Let’s see how this year unfolds – I’m fascinated to see what fiscal 2016 brings.
Now to the YTD figures, or 1/6th of this year so far. As I continue to stress; not too much store should be placed on such a small ‘sample’ as an indicator of final 2016 results. North Van detached homes sold are 227 vs 192 last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 21% and apartments up 27%. The detached median price is up 27% and inventory is down 7% from 2015. Median prices (t/hses) up 25% and up 13% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) up 5% from Feb 28th 2015 and (apt) down 22% from last year for the same date. OK, who was the clever one who realized that Feb this year had 29 days vs 28? No: won’t redo my stats as we’ll be back in sync month wise by Mar 31,2016 (assuming I last that long 😉 )!
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Feb 29 2016 is up by 35% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 43% from last year and inventory now down 3% from Feb 28th 2015. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Feb 29th 2016 are up 60% from 2015. Active listings are down 37% year over year. Apartments reflect 34 sold in 2016 vs. 29 in 2015 (down 8%) – median price for Apts increased by 12% for this period.
Please view the updated version of the Average Price Graph for 2016 published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Here it is… enjoy!