If you were currently a seller, what type of home would you prefer to be selling? That is, over the past few months and going ahead (if you haven’t been successful as yet). Yes, I guess that might sound like a silly question BUT if you’ve been trying to sell your detached house for some months you’ll be able to empathize.
Clearly, the magic incantation that could instantly trade the $2MM detached for two $1MM apartments would be greatly in demand. Where is Harry Potter when you need him !! The last few months have clearly been the worst time for a strong display of optimism by many sellers. Sell high and buy low is the current pipe dream. If you can delay your plans you may well benefit from not listing now(or removing your house from the market). Either this or chase the soft market downwards with a series of price reductions. No, I am unlikely to be high on many folks popularity list. For that I apologize. My best advice is to make sure you are dealing with an experienced Realtor; someone with double digit years (and up) experience and listen to their advice. An inexperienced Realtor or a Yes man or woman who hasn’t gone through at least one (preferably more) Bear market/s may be an expensive learning experience.
Much has been said about the cause of the market shift but to state the obvious, less demand exists for the mid to higher priced house. Buyers continue to be less comfortable with the buying decision and there is a pervasive belief that now is not a good time to buy. This is totally the opposite conclusion that should be reached! Yes I firmly believe that we will be seeing a price adjustment in the short term and an average sale price reduction of anything from, say 5 – 12%. Yes, Buyers, now is the time to make judicious offers on the “quiet” listings. don’t be one of the “if only I had bought in October/November of December 2017” group.
Now to the YTD figures as we embark upon the final Qtr of 2017. North Van detached homes sold are down 23% (821 vs 1072 last year) on a YTD basis, attached (t/hses) down 20% from last year and apartments down 11%. The detached median price is up 5% and inventory now up 7% from 2016. Median prices (t/hses) up 30% and up 16% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) up 5% from Sept 30th 2016 and (apt) up 6% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Sept 30th 2017 is down by 45% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is down 2% from last year and inventory now up 10% from Sept 30th 2016. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Sept 30th 2017 are down 17% from 2016. Active attached (t/hse) listings at 18 are up from 5 on Sept 30th 2016. Apartment sales reflect a 9% decrease in 2017 vs. 2016 – median price for (apts) sold increased by 26% for this period. Inventory (apts) up 36% over Sept 30th 2016.
My regular readers will likely be aware that I am a serious proponent of two things i) supply and demand and ii) real estate cycles. I’ve possibly beaten the first topic to death – those offering to sell their residential property (supply) and those wishing to buy these same commodities (demand). These two groups dictate the prices at which these properties change hands (remember, willing seller – willing buyer).
There has been much spoken about the why’s of these phenomena but to put it simply, less Sellers are selling (either withholding their offerings from the market or asking more than Buyers are willing to pay). Maybe Buyers are just less comfortable with the buying decision. This change in activity likely means that we are heading into a new cycle. Note, I say, “likely” as we do not yet have enough data to be able to make this statement with conviction. Lets see how eager the media will be to use ‘slump’, ‘plunge’ headlines in the upcoming weeks.
[Why did I choose to repeat myself? In some ways I believe that history HAS partially repeated itself. Remember, however, that no 2 cycles are ever identical. Or maybe we’re still in the same cycle? Imponderable of imponderables?]
Now to the YTD figures as we leap into the final third of 2017. North Van detached homes sold are 747 vs 1019 last year on a YTD basis, attached (t/hses) down 20% from last year and apartments down 13%. The detached median price is up 12% and inventory now down 1% from 2016. Median prices (t/hses) up 12% and up 27% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 10% from Aug 31st 2016 and (apt) up 3% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Aug 31st 2017 is down by 51% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is down 2% from last year and inventory now up 10% from Aug 31st 2016. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Aug 31st 2016 are down 21% from 2016. Active apartment listings at 3 are down by 1from last Aug 31st. Apartment sales reflect an 11% decrease in 2017 vs. 2016 – median price for (apts) sold increased by 21% for this period. Inventory (apts) up 33% over Aug 31st 2016.