The most frequent question that I am asked as a REALTOR is: "How is the real estate market doing?" I am pleased to report that I can now answer this question with a lot more certainty, and tailored to my clients' needs.
Historically, this question has been difficult to answer because it depends on where you live, the type of home you live in (single family, condo or townhome) and the price point of your existing property.
For example, at the same time that the market is booming for one bedroom condos downtown, it may be dragging for $2M condos in Coal Harbour. Hard to believe? I now have access to "micro-statistics" to back up my assertions.
A new tool called SnapStats takes data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and assembles it into an easily understandable set of figures and graphs. The sales information in the report is for Vancouver West, Vancouver East, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, and Downtown Vancouver. Under the agreement that I have with SnapStats, I am not allowed to post these statistics on my website, but I can send them to my sphere of influence as a PDF document.
These statistics are fairly easy to interpret, but I wanted to take the time to walk you through the report in detail. The most important number to look at on the report is the Sales Ratio Percentage. This percentage is the number of sales for the month divided by the active listings. For example if 1 in 10 homes were selling, you would have a sales ratio of 10%. Why is the sales ratio so important? The sales ratio tells us whether we are in a balanced market, a seller's market or a buyer's market, and therefore which side has the upper hand in negotiating. Following is the sales ratios for each type of market condition.
Seller's Market: sales ratio of 21% or greater.
Balanced Market: sales ratio of 15% to 20%
Buyer's Market: sales ration of 14% and less
The SnapStats report breaks down the sales ratios not only by price range, but also by community. For example last month detached homes in Dunbar had a sales ratio of 21.57% and homes priced between $2.00M and $2.25M had a sales ratio of 22.41%. Given these sales ratios, it would be a good time to sell a home in Dunbar.
You will also find a 13 month trend on the SnapStats report. From the graph for Vancouver Westside Detached Homes we have seen an increase in the number of sales, an increase in the average sale price and a decrease in inventory. This makes me think that heading into next year detached homes in Vancouver West may be back to the values we were seeing at the end of 2011.
Call me to get access to the October, 2012 market report from SnapStats to see how the market is doing in your neighbourhood.