Buyer confidence is back and the market is picking up!
We are coming off a very interesting and abnormal year in Greater Vancouver Real Estate.Last year started off very slow! In March the headlines read ‘Vancouver home sales hit 33 year low!’However, as the year progressed, buyer activity increased. July was the turning point where sales started outperforming the previous year and we finished the year off very strong with home sales in December up 88% compared to 2019 and above the 10 year average.
We expect a busy year ahead and a significant increase in single family home sales.It’s early in the year, but so far we have experienced more multiple offers and quicker sales.
What does this mean for your home?
Inventory is low to start the year and there are lots of buyers looking to make the jump from strata to single family in New Westminster! Our recent sale at 220 Durham St, at the end of January, received 4 offers in 2 weeks on market and sold full price subject free!
2019 was a very interesting (and abnormal) year in Greater Vancouver real estate. Typically we see the strongest market activity in the spring, but in 2019 we were off to a slow start, and the sales activity improved as the year went on. In March the headlines read ‘Vancouver home sales hit 33 year low!’, and by December home sales were up 88% compared to December 2018, and 9.5% above the 10 year December average. Buyer confidence was the main factor. In the first quarter, many prospective buyers were holding off and waiting to see if prices would continue to fall due to changes in the mortgage stress test and new taxes. However, confidence started to return in the summer, and we saw above average sales in the fall 2019.
It feels like the market bottom is behind us and we’re no longer seeing downward pressure on prices. For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2019 is 23.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 15.2% for detached homes, 25.7% for townhomes, and 32.5% for apartments. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20%.
Averages tell a general market story, but there are many markets within Greater Vancouver. We’re seeing differences amongst cities, product types and price points. Luxury real estate continues to struggle and experience a buyers market, whereas entry level condos are experiencing bidding wars and seller’s market conditions. Based on these recent trends, we expect the stronger sales in the lower price points to trickle up to higher price points over the coming months. Since the financial markets are up, mortgage rates are low and buyer confidence is back, our expectation is that market activity will continue to strength over the coming months. Expect more bidding wars for entry price point houses, condos and townhouses. As for the luxury market, expect sales to increase, but it will likely take a few years for it to catch up to 2016/2017 pre-foreign tax levels.
Surprise surprise… It’s slow. In terms of units sold, statistically the month of March was the slowest it’s been in 33 years! However, don’t let the media headlines fool you, it’s not that bad for all property types. It may be a ‘Buyers Market’, particularly for luxury homes, fixer uppers and land value, but many entry level homes, condos and desirable areas are experiencing more of a ‘Balanced Market’, we have even experienced a few bidding wars. Check out this video to learn more about our thoughts on the 2019 Spring Market.
MARKET UPDATE BY NEW WESTMINSTER REALTOR JAMES GARBUTT
May is here and it’s time for another New Westminster housing market update.
It’s been a bit of a crazy year, it started off with a lot of snow, followed by a lot of rain, which delayed everything and affected the number of sales that have taken place. In fact, numbers are down considerably. The number of sales of detached homes in New Westminster to date is 62. At this time last year, that number was 186–that’s essentially a third of the number of sales compared to last year and about half the number of sales compared to 2015. Not surprising considering the weather and considering everything that’s happened lately, and, openly, there just hasn’t been a lot of product and a lot of overpriced listings have been sitting on the market.
The sales ratio is the sales-to-active listings ratio or the number of sales that take place in a given month divided by the number of active listings. The sales ratio for detached homes in New Westminster is 30% across the board. That means, that of ten listings, 3 of them sell in a given month. Anything north of 21% is considered a seller’s market, so the market still is strong. Isolating the ratio to focus mainly on a lower price point, say detached homes under $1.2 million, the sales ratio goes from 30% to 70%. That means the out of 10 listings, 7 of them are selling in a given month, and that is a very strong seller’s market. So there’s clear demand for the more affordable price points.
The average detached home sold this year is going for $1.125 million and the average high sales of the year is $2.3 million; but there were two sales north of $2.2 million, both in ‘Queens Park‘.
The REBGV has shown that prices for detached homes in New Westminster have gone up 8% from this time last year; but we’re finding that, for nice family layouts, in a good location, in good shape, in the more affordable price bracket, they’re up about 10%. The busy street homes, the ones that have the land value, are struggling a bit; they’re at par with April of last year or maybe even a little bit below.
Moving forward, I expect the market activity to increase quite a bit; I think sales are just starting to ramp up and that the summer is going to be a busy one. Talk about things such as coach homes for lots over 6000sqft has held back a lot of the inventory as owners wait to see what happens. But, the weather is getting better and the supply is low and the demand is high, so if you are a homeowner and you’re thinking of selling, now is the time to do so.
It’s been a bit of a crazy year; we’ve had some insane weather and condos have been smoking hot. That’s your update—they’re hot!
Overall, the sales for the year are down a little bit from last year, but not significantly. We’ve had 357 sales to date, compared to the same period last year which was 418, and in 330 in 2015.
So even though there’ s been a little bit of a decrease, we’re up from 2015. The sales ratio for these condos, however, is up considerably. The sales ratio is the sales-to-active listings ratio or the number of sales that take place in a given month divided by the number of active listings. A seller’s market is considered to have a sales ratio of 21% or higher. Across the board, the New Westminster condo sales ratio is 76%–a smoking hot seller’s market. That means that out of 10 active listings, 7.6 of them will sell in a given month.
If we isolate the sales ratio to the hottest product right now–entry level one bedroom condos built after 2000–the sales ratio is 183%! Which is ridiculous. It basically means that is you have a newer one bedroom condo to sell, it will sell immediately. And we’ve been experiencing that. Keep in mind that that’s 183% sales ratio when a seller’s market is considered anything north of 21%.
What are prices doing? Well, prices are up. The REBGV says that prices are up 20% compared to this time last year. We’ve had cases where the prices have been up 30%+. We recently listed four New Westminster condos that received 20 offers combined averaging $43,000 above their list prices. So, if you’re a condo owner and you’re looking to sell, it’s a great time to do so; but figure out where you’re going, because if you’re buying another condo, it may be frustrating.
Essentially, everything in the strata seems to be quite active right now in New Westminster. The market is as good and as strong as we’ve ever seen.
On the buy side, expect frustration, expect competing offers and expect to pay more than the last sale. Things may slow down in the fall, but there’s nothing telling us that right now. At the moment, it is a seller’s market and New Westminster condos are hot.
MARKET UPDATE BY GREATER VANCOUVER REALTOR JAMES GARBUTT
May is here and it’s time for a Greater Vancouver condo market update. It’s been a bit of a crazy year, and, between the snow and the rain, the weather has been awful and it’s held back the sales a little bit, or at least that’s part of the reason for it.
As of April 26, 2017, the year-to-date number of sales are down from this time last year in the same period. If I were to put an approximate figure on it, I would say it’s down 30% in terms of number of sales. However, number of sales is just part of the equation for the market–prices are up considerably. Condos and townhouses are hot! They’re more affordable than detached homes, and, as a result, have a lot more buyers.
To get a good indication of how the market doing, we like to look at the sales ratio. The sales ratio is the sales-to-active listings ratio or the number of sales that take place in a given month divided by the number of active listings. A seller’s market is considered to have a sales ratio of 21% or higher. That usually means that prices don’t back track. In Vancouver right now, we’re seeing a sales ratio of 60% over the last 60 days. In Burnaby, it’s 66%, in New Westminster it’s 76%, and in the Tri-Cities it’s 98%. These are strong seller’s markets.
If we isolate Vancouver condos north of $1.5 million, the sales ratio goes from 60% down to 22%, which is on the fringe of a seller’s market. At that figure, it’s definitely not a climbing market, but it’s definitely not back tracking either. So, sales volume may be down, but the prices are up. According to the latest stats from the REBGV, condo prices are up 16% across all of Greater Vancouver; however, in Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities, we’re seeing a figure that seems to be more in line with 25%. And, particularly newer condos built after 2000 that are entry price points in the market, they’re smoking hot. The demand for affordable condos is high; the higher the price points, the lower the demand.
Let’s look at those percentages in a more practical way. Let’s look at a ‘Yaletown‘ 1 bedroom that’s 550 sf mid-level, say 10 years old as well. Those are selling for $1100 a foot this year; in 2016 for $950sf, and the year before it would be $775. Back to back years of 20+% appreciation–that is a hot market. It’s not sustainable, but it is smoking hot at the moment and I don’t expect it to slow down any time soon.
Some interesting stats for Greater Vancouver:
The highest sale as of April 26 2017 is $8.7 million. That was for a 3600sf condo in ‘Coal Harbour‘. That’s bigger than my house. In the Tri-Cities, a condo in Newport Village sold for $1.4 million for 1800sf overlooking the water.
Moving forward, I expect more of those to come; a lot of people that are downsizing are moving into these high end condos. So if you own a high end condo, now is a great time to consider listing. Basically, if you own any condo in Greater Vancouver, now is a great time to sell! The problem is, what are you going to buy? If you’re buying another condo, you may have some challenges.
“Tips for making your offer look as good as possible when you are in a competing multiple offer situation which is quite common these days if you are looking for a detached house in Greater Vancouver.”
Price “Put your best number on the offer. Dont leave anything off the table, you want to go with your best number upfront. You can’t rely on a counter offer and if you miss out on a property by $5,000 you’ll likely be kicking yourself for a couple months down the road.”
Deposit “We always recommend 5%. That is our bare minimum recommendation. If you can put more down, put more down but at least 5%. You don’t want to have any concerns over your offer due to your deposit.”
Dates “If you are in a flexible situation say you’re frustrated buyer who sold their apartment and your now out of house and home, leave the dates blank. Leave them up to the seller to decide. If you have subjects leave them blank. If you don’t have subjects you may want to caution yourself about that. Leave the dates blank and give the seller the full right to choose the dates or at least speak with the listing agent first before putting dates down. Don’t make dates a sticky issue for buying a long term home.”
Items on Page 2 of the contract “Don’t be over particular. Don’t ask for too much. If you are competing and you are asking for a lot you don’t have a whole lot of leverage in negotiation. You want them to feel like you are a solid buyer who is asking for a reasonable amount of items and you put your best number on the table. If you start demanding things it will make your offer look worse.”
Subjects “Unfortunately if you are buying a house right now the best option is none. But as a Realtor we can never recommend that. That’s just the reality of it these days. If you have a nice home on quiet street I’ve seen a number of situations that have 10+ offers and the sale always goes to the buyer without subjects. If you do deiced to go subject free make sur eyou have a good talk with your mortgage broker first. Sometimes they can give you approval on a property if you get them a mock contract prior to offer presentation. Get an inspector in there before the offer presentation. This is when you are going after a really popular or hot property. You may have to put yourself out there on some of these items and take on the risk which I have seen as well. The reality is if you have subjects on your offer make them as short and clean as possible. But a lot of the biggest sales that have gone on this year to date have been subject free where the buyers have gotten their financing, inspection, and everything else arranged prior to the offer presentation… or they are just taking a huge risk.”
Add your story to your offer “Put a letter or tell them your story on the cover of your offer. Some sellers appreciate the buyer and want to know who is going to be living in their home. Especially if the sellers have sentimental value in the home and would rather have a young family buy it instead of a developer who will tear it down. You might at least get a chance at a second offer if you aren’t the leading candidate.”
Your Realtor “Present your offer in person. Anytime you have an opportunity to be face to face with the sellers in a competing offer situation it helps. It helps because you are not the front running offer but they like you. They might go with you or at least give you a second chance that they may not have considered if you were just another piece of paper. So present in person.”
“Buyers just be patient. Don’t expect to get the first home you go after especially if you are looking for the same type of property as everyone else. It is a seller’s market right now so be prepared to put out a couple offers.”
If you have any questions about selling your home or would like to know more about this crazy market feel free to contact us!
“So far the 2015 market for Detached Homes has been incredibly crazy with tons of bidding wars which means record sale prices above list price. We thought we would share with you some of the highlight sales that have happened to date because simply put whatever is going on out there is nuts. if you are somewhat close to the city Coquitlam or West you are running into bidding wars if you are buyer. If you are a seller you are very lucky to be enjoying this market. It’s a frustrating time for buyers but a great time for sellers right now.”
Below we will show some of the highlight sales that have happened in the short year to date.
“In Burnaby there was a house at 8675 12th St that was listed at $838,000 that sold in 5 days for $1.1 Million. $262,000 above the list price. The list price $838,000 was in line with recent sales prior to that. It was on a nice lot in good neighbourhood and sold for significantly above list price.”
“Out in New Westminster at 1924 London St listed at $829,000 sold for $985,000 in 5 days on market and subject free like most other record breaking sales.”
“Next in North Vancouver on 960 Beaumont Dr in the Edgemont Village area was listed at $1.488 Million sold $1.689 Million $201,000 above list price in 3 days.”
“In the British Properties at 725 Eyremount, West Vancouver home listed at $4.198 Million sold for $5.880 Million in 4 days. Basically $900,000 above the list price. When talking about $5 million dollar homes it may not be so much for the sellers or buyers but that is a huge above list sale!”
“In Vancouver at 65 E 26th Ave listed at $1.598 Million sold for $2.165 Million sold in 11 days. Thats over $560,000 above the list price on a 31.25 frontage lot which is crazy that East Vancouver is now getting those prices.”
“But the winner for the craziest sale is a Shaughnesssy home at in the Vancouver West area at 1383 W 32nd Ave listed at $5.99 Million and sold for $8.010 Million in 12 days. That is $2 Million above list price and it takes the cake so far for this year!”
“It is unfortunate for buyers if you are trying to find a new home and staying in a hotel or renting short term. Who knows when this will lessen up but it is what it is right now which is crazy.”
“For sellers if you are on the fence about selling now is the time to get off the fence to and enjoy the rewards of the your detached house. Condos and Townhomes are strong as well but not as crazy as detached homes.”
“To give you some averages for homes in Coquitlam and west of Coquitlam in Greater Vancouver on average year to date days on market is 30 days but the median has been 9 days on market. Which tells you that most of the homes are selling fast, but a couple are lingering a little longer because there are still some duds out there. On average houses are selling for 100% of the list price. The range for 2015 so far is 131% to 56% of the list price… we aren’t sure what happened with that 56% of the list price sale but we are sure there was something wrong there.”
If you have any questions about selling your home or would like to know more about this crazy market feel free to contact us!
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Home buyer and seller activity outpaces historical averages in February.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,061 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February 2015. This represents a 21 per cent increase compared to the 2,530 sales recorded in February 2014, and a 60 per cent increase compared to the 1,913 sales in January 2015.
Last month’s sales were 20.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.
“It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now,” Ray Harris, REBGV president, said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,425 in February. This represents a 15.4 per cent increase compared to the 4,700 new listings reported in February 2014.
Last month’s new listing count was 11.8 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the REBGV MLS® is 11,898, an 11.3 per cent decline compared to February 2014 and a 10.1 per cent increase compared to January 2015.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $649,700. This represents a 6.4 per cent increase compared to February 2014.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio in February was 25.7 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since March 2011.
The market in the Greater Vancouver area has been very busy these past 4 years and recent statistics show just how incredible the appreciation of homes has been. The popularity of the Lower Mainland boomed once we had officially won bid to host the Olympics and since 2010 it has kept increasing.
Detached homes are extremely popular as it a sellers market with buyers in bidding wars at record high sale prices. From homes to Vancouver West to Coquitlam we have seen above listing price sales with properties attracting tons of buyers and lots of offers.
“These stats really showcase how much of an increase there has been in a relatively short amount of time. One of the trends we noticed in suburbs and basically everywhere is the more expensive neighbourhoods are the ones that went up the most. For example in New Westminster in the neighbourhood where detached homes appreciated the most over time was Queens Park which had a 24% gain over the past 4 years from 2010 to 2014 compared to the New Westminster city average of 18%. Deer Lake area in Burnaby had the highest average sale price in 2014 of overall Burnaby with the average sale price of $1.7 Million which is astonishing for Burnaby.”
Detached Home Appreciation 2010-2014 West Vancouver – 37.9% Vancouver East – 40.7% Vancouver West – 42.3% Burnaby – 32% New Westminster – 18% Coquitlam – 20% Port Moody – 15%
“A few other stats to note Condos are up as well but not nearly as much as homes. Burnaby is up 4%, New Westminster gained 5%, & Port Moody increased by 5%. Not a huge gain for condos in suburbs.”
“Being 2015 now and the market has been insane but there is not enough data to reflect what is going on other than the pure craziness. For detached homes I would say we are up even further from 2014. There are record sale prices going on all the time, bidding wars everywhere. I can’t wait to see what stats are released after 6 months of this to see where things are actually at. There haven’t been that many sales here in February but I have seen what would have been considered a $700,000 home last year sell for $800,000 this year and what was $900,000 last year sell for $1,000,000 or $1,050,000 this year. There is just record setting prices everywhere and this is mainly for detached homes. It is a little bit difficult to be a buyer right now but great to be a seller! We are really looking forward to checking out the year end info for 2015 to see how this intense market will reflect in the stats.”
For more info on Greater Vancouver market stats Click Here.