Christmas Gives Little Evidence Of Affordability Where Needed

snow-vancouver

Sadly the promises of improving affordability predicted by both levels of government are yet to materialize. This, despite dramatic legislative changes at the provincial level (Greater Vancouver particularly affected with reduced sales). Federal changes have dealt a blow to first time buyers seeing a reduction in their levels of mortgage financing. Average prices of the smaller group of sales have dropped, but this is largely because the lesser number of say $3mm plus detached homes have shrunk and buyer confidence is waning. The core demand for residences in the $400k to $800k range by the 1st /2nd time buyers is strong and this price range is certainly not seeing downward correction; in fact quite the opposite. The only real help will come with new construction and that with increased densification (a dirty word for many).

I stand by my prediction in last month’s Update that sales will continue to be sluggish into the 1st half of 2017 and number of sales will only improve in the second half. Supply (listings) needs to come to grips with the fact that the rampant growth in prices is currently levelling off and only softening for those who discover that they need to sell to get on with their lives.

December 2016 Numbers

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Now to the YTD figures as we head into the beginning of December 2016.  North Van detached homes sold are down 15%  – 1194 vs 1403 last year on a YTD basis, attached (t/hses) down 9% from last year and apartments down 1%. The detached median price is up 25% and inventory now down 22% from 2015. Median prices (t/hses) up 26% and up 17% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 41% from Nov 30th 2015 and (apt) down 4% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Nov 2016 is down by 20% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 32% from last year and inventory now down 27% from Nov 30th 2015. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Nov 30th 2016 are down 34% from 2015. Active listings at (4) are 66% below last year at Nov 30th. Apartments reflect a 9% increase in 2016 vs. 2015  – median price for (apts) sold increased by 6% for this period. Inventory (apts) down 24%.