It is always interesting reading the statistics that the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board releases every month. I often wonder if the real estate board is protecting its members by sugar coating what is actually happening in the market.
It is important to remember that statistics can be interpreted in many ways and that when the real estate board releases these stats they are looking are the market in a very broad manner (they report on the entire Lower Mainland). It is also important to recognize that these stats are always one month "out of date". In a quickly changing market, a month can be a long time.
Here is my take on the market for Vancouver West based on statistics specific to this area.
Single Family Homes:
Last year on July 31st we had 632 active listings on the market; this year we have 1,038 (See chart below). This statistic is interesting because it tells me that the sellers that have their homes on the market this year are priced too high for the current market conditions. Next let's look at the number of sales from July 1st to July 31st for both 2011 and 2012. This year we had 83 sales and last year we had 139 sales. This represents a 40% reduction in the number of sales in July when compared to last year. Again, in order to sell in these market conditions, sellers must adjust their expectations are really sharpen their pencils.
Condominiums and Townhomes:
"Attached" home sales stats don't look as bad compared to the stats for "detached" single family home market. Here condos sold are down 19% compared to the same period last year and number of condominiums listed is only up 10%.
It is my belief that market conditions will remain soft for through the end of this year. From talking to my buyers, there seems to be very little urgency in the market. The $2M plus home market in Vancouver West seems to be most impacted by the softening conditions we are experiencing. I don't believe that the market will "crash" or the "bubble" will burst, but I think it is a great time to be a buyer.
I am always amazed when I speak with my buyer-clients. Instead of writing offers in a market where conditions are ripe for selection and negotiation, they sit back and try to time the bottom of the market. Even as a real estate agent that is always watching the market, I find it hard to time the market. It has been a long time since conditions have been this favourable. If you have been thinking about buying your first home, or if you are moving up into a more expensive home, this is the time!
Please feel free to click on this link for the video market report from the real estate board.
If you have market related real estate questions for any area in the lower mainland, please feel free to give me a call at 604-808-9796.