Early Results This Year Show Sales Well Below Last Year

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“Cool” seems to be the operative word not only for our weather of late but certainly for the volume of sales this January. Mainly led by a sluggishness in the detached market but also in other types of residential properties. As I alluded to last month, the lack of inventory is one problem but so is a somewhat unrealistic expectation on the part of wannabe sellers. Couple that with some wannabe buyers’ belief that tomorrow’s prices will likely be lower and we see the reason for fewer ratified contracts.

We are experiencing one of the first times in many years that the Province’s Tax Assessment values are, in numerous cases, exceeding actual market values. Condo apartments and some in the attached category (townhouses and 1/2 duplexes) are evidencing sharply lower sales inventories. For serious sellers in the $350 – $850k range, activity is strongest, owing to relatively high buyer demand in this lower price range. An interesting fact is that the Provincial Government’s dramatic action in July last year has led to little evidence of improved affordability. Especially so for 1st and 2nd time buyers. For our offspring it is cold comfort that fewer $2M and above detached homes are selling. The illusion that average sales prices are dropping because fewer “expensive” homes are selling is by no means proof of any success on the affordability front.

February 2017 Numbers

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Now to the first figures for 2017, remember this is only the 1st 12th of a year.  North Van detached homes sold are down 50% – 34 vs 68 during 2016, attached (t/hses) down 65% from 2016 and apartments down 5%. The detached median price based on those 34 sales is unchanged and inventory now down 3% from 2016. Median prices (t/hses and apts) are unavailable (# below 25) but I would estimate up between 5 and 10%. Inventory (t/hses) down 30% from 2016 and (apt) up 8% from for the same period 2016.

In West Van, detached number of sales for 2017 is down by 76% from 2016. Median price of what has sold is down 13% from last year and inventory now down 7% from 2016. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold during 2017 are down 43% from 2016. Active listings at 10 as at month end are down from 14 Jan 2016. Apartments sales reflect an 24% decrease in 2017 vs. 2016  – Median prices (t/hses and apts) are unavailable (# below 25) but I would estimate they’re up between 3 and 6%. Median price for (apts) sold increased by 6% for this period. Inventory (apts) down 42%.