The Market Is Only Active In Select Sectors

In the residential real estate sense, when the word “sectors” is used, it is important to clarify whether the sector is geographic, type of home or price range.

As diverse examples I would cite – Vancouver West Side detached homes $5mm or more (45 sales April 2016 vs 4 Oct 2016 ) – Sunshine Coast townhome sales up 50% this Oct vs Oct 2015 – Whistler/Pemberton apartment sales this Oct (50 vs 29 Oct 2015). Yes these are somewhat unrelated but the stats serve to illustrate the range of activity depending upon the ‘sector’ we focus on. Always ascertain the sector in which the “market” claim is being made.

What has yet to be proven is whether or not there has been a reduction in prices ( i.e. an improvement in affordability). What we are seeing is certainly an overall reduction in the number of residential units changing hands. We are fully aware of the lessening of desire on the part of what we used to call the “buying public” to actually purchase a home (i.e. Demand). Those who have to sell will, in all likelihood, be forced to seriously entertain offers at a level below their present asking price. The majority of those who do not have to sell, appear to be removing their homes from the market.

Based on the approximately quarter century I have been involved in residential real estate sales my prediction is that we shall see a continuation of the lower  sales levels for sometime into the coming year. Even without the benefit of a crystal ball or the hindsight of actually seeing data for the first few quarters of 2017 I do however feel that the sales numbers of the second half will outstrip those of the first.

The outcome of the upcoming (mid year) Provincial election will of course have a bearing on the speed or sluggishness of the return to a more buoyant market.

November 2016 Numbers

The YTD figures as we reach the final stages of 2016.  North Van detached homes sold are down 13%  – 1133 vs 1301 last year on a YTD basis, attached (t/hses) down 8% from last year and apartments up 4%. The detached median price is up 27% and inventory now up 53% from 2015. Median prices (t/hses) up 28% and up 17% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 23% from Oct 31st 2015 and (apt)down 14% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Oct 31st 2016 is down by 16% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 33% from last year and inventory now down 22% from Oct 31st 2015. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Oct 31st 2016 are down 32% from 2015. Active listings at (5) are 44% below last year at Oct 31st.Apartments reflecta 11% increase in 2016 vs. 2015 median price for (apts) sold increased by 5% for this period. Inventory (apts) down 33%.