Blog › Greater Vancouver real estate

IS IT A BUBBLE?


Although we have seen prices move up in all categories, by far the most active is the detached market. All areas of the detached market are seeing multiple offers in many cases in the double digits. The greater Vancouver area detached market continues to be red hot and shows no signs of slowing down. 
 
Our brokerage continues to see large numbers of transactions booked every month.
 
Will we see an eventual slow down? Probably! But how slow can it really get and probably only for a short period of time. If we believe (as most of us do) that we are a world class city then if we compare our real estate prices with the other world class cities we are still relatively inexpensive. There is still room for prices to continue to move upward barring any global disaster. 
 
In the mean time, if you own property or are planning to buy property in Greater Vancouver you can enjoy an unbelievable lifestyle which cannot be surpassed by other areas.
 
~Louie Pulice
Managing Broker
President
TEAM 3000 Realty Ltd.
 
 
According to the latest information released from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and this article posted at REW.ca
rebgv june 2015 infographic
 

Greater Vancouver home sale prices are up 10.3 per cent year over year according to Real Estate Board of Vancouver (REBGV) figures released July 3, and real estate sales numbers continue to climb. In fact, the 4,375 homes sold last month were 29.1 per cent above the 10-year average for June.

Below is our useful infographic that highlights the key stats and breaks down the figures, area by area.

rebgv june breakdown


Renos that make sense


image001

We all want our homes to look great. You know about regular maintenance but you might also want to renovate that tired bathroom or dated kitchen, or replace those older windows and redo the basement to create more living space. Here are six renos that may help to increase your home's value:

couple

Revamp the Bathroom. Every year the Appraisal Institute of Canada surveys its members and compiles a list of renovations that yield the best return on investment. Year after year refurbished kitchens and bathrooms head the payback list. An old toilet that's cracked or dirty or doesn't work properly is a turn-off. Vanities should be eye-catching and practical. Good lighting boosts value. Better yet - add a window if you can, to get natural lighting. If you want to save some money consider re-glazing the tub, rather than getting a new one. Bathroom upgrades can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 however may will recoup 75% to 100% of the initial cost.

 

Upgrade your Kitchen. This sits at the top of any reno list. It's the heart of a home and the room where families spend most of their time. So where do you start? This is the reno that can overstretch the budget because there is so much you can add. If you're adding high-end upgrades such as stainless steel appliances make sure they're not sitting on vinyl flooring or sitting against worn-out cupboards. Kitchen upgrades can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $75,000, however you may recoup 75% to 100% of the initial cost.

 

House needs a roof. This might not be the most exciting reno but it does have its perks. A dry house, for one. Curb appeal for another. Roofs aren't cheap but they last a long time. A new roof can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, however you may recoup 80% of the initial cost..

 

Try a coat of paint. This is your best bet to increase the value of your home. Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to freshen up your home and add zip to it. A paint job will cost from $100 up to $4,000 for a large house, however you may recoup 100% of the initial cost.

 

Finish the basement. A finished basement is very attractive to buyers. Not only does it increase floor space but it can be a place for the kids and/or a place to put extra stuff. Basement renovations can cost from $3,000 up to $$50,000, depending on the size and what you add, however you may recoup 75% of the initial cost.

 

Go for new windows and doors. Doors and windows are the first impression visitors have of your home. You can boost curb appeal, lower heating and AC bills, and add value to your home by upgrading. New windows and doors will cost from $3,000 up to $25,000, for a large house, however you may recoup 75% of the initial cost.

 

Once you decide you want that new kitchen the next question is how to pay for it. In today's low interest market, your home equity is the first place to look. Today five-year variable rates are as lows as 2.2% and five-year fixed rates are as lows a 2.74%. A home equity line of credit may also work for you, depending on your personal situation.

 

Let's talk renos - call me today  

Crystal Lau

  Mortgage Consultant

  The Mortgage Group

  Tel.: 604-787-1043

  Fax: 604-629-6668

  cl@crystalmortgages.ca

  www.crystalmortgages.ca

 Whatever your borrowing circumstances are, I have options that work!!

 



Vancouver is the best place to live in North America


According to CBC News BC: 

vanelxn housing 20141109

Vancouver is the best place to live in North America, according to Mercer's latest Quality of Living Rankings.

The West Coast city placed fifth worldwide for the second year in a row. In 2005 the study ranked Vancouver 3rd in the world.

The annual study looks at everything from climate to housing and the political and social environment when ranking 230 cities.

The top ranking for 2015 went to Vienna, followed by Zurich, Auckland and Munich.

"Vancouver is the highest-ranking city in North America and the region’s only city in the top 10," according to the study.

Vancouver was followed by Toronto at 15, and Ottawa at 16. The highest ranking U.S. cities trail behind with San Francisco at 27, Boston at 34 and Honolulu coming in at 36.

The study is done to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees when they're given international assignments.

Seven European cities dominated the top 10, including Dusseldorf in the 6th place, followed by Frankfurt, Geneva and Copenhagen in 9th.

Europe dominates top 10

"Despite concerns about economic growth, the cities of Western Europe continue to offer a stable environment for employees and employers," the report said.

London, placed 40, and was the highest-ranking city in the United Kingdom.

Elsewhere, Singapore, placing 26th in the world, was the top place in Asia-Pacific. Dubai, in 74th place, was the highest-ranking place in the Middle East and Africa.

Baghdad, Iraq came in last place.

Data for the study was collected in the fall of 2014.

 



Lynn Valley Homes - Westlyn


A unique area on the North Shore, Westlyn is located in the Lynn Valley area. This area is comprised of many different styles of detached housing. The natural beauty of the North Shore mountains and Lynn Canyon has always been attractive to the locals. This is a great area to raise children because of its great schools, great shopping and ease of access to Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland. A short drive on Highway One west and you are in Horseshoe Bay. A little further drive along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway and you are world renowned Whistler Village. 

Here is an example of the older, rancher style homes in the area.

 v1103980 101 94

 

For more information on this property please click here: http://www.team3000.ca/v1103980-1358-e-18th-st or for other properties like this one contact Louie Pulice (President, Team 3000 Realty Ltd) directly at 604-341-0006



Vancouver condo market on watch list


B.C. vulnerable as 'nation's weak spot'

"Canada's housing market is not a bubble, it's a balloon. And unlike the catastrophic decline the U.S. housing market experienced in 2008, the market in Canada will deflate slowly rather than pop, according to a report by BMO Capital Markets".

In Vancouver, though, where house prices have gone up 159 per cent in the last 10 years - compared to 104 per cent nationally - the ratio of price to income is 10, nearly double what it was a decade ago. Read the full article here.

According to documents obtained by Bloomberg under freedom of information law request from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Banks and other lenders are becoming "increasingly liberal" with mortgages and home-equity credit lines that don't require individuals to prove their income.

Bloomberg reported, "Non-income qualified" lending is one of the issues to be considered by OSFI's "emerging-risk committee."

Leaning too hard on lending could sink the housing market

Canadian Banks will have major concerns on tightening lending too much on "equity lending" and mortgages provided to "New Immigrants". Presently, these borrowers do not need to provide proof of "sufficient income" to qualify for 65%/70% financing. Other borrowers have to provide proof that their mortgage payments are under 40% of their total financial obligations.

It will be a fine balance that has to be work out on the new lending guidelines (if any) between the Government and Canadian Banks for equity home financing. The tightening to deflat the high home prices may be too late, as any price correction from current level especially in Greater Vancouver in the magnitude of 20% or 25% will seriously damage the B.C.  economy.

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BCREA 2012 1st Quarter houusing forecast


Average performance for housing market in 2012

chart

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) recently released its 2012 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update.

“Modest economic growth at home and abroad is expected to limit growth in consumer demand both this year and in 2013,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 2.1 per cent from 76,817 units in 2011 to 78,400 units this year, increasing a further 2.7 per cent to 80,500 units in 2013. The 15-year average is 79,000 unit sales. A record 106,310 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

Read the full report here.

Will housing affordability affecting the forecast?

2011Chart

Based on the average 10 years sales figure around 85,000 units, 2012 and 2013 forecasts by BCREA are below the 10 years average sales. But, if the more recent declining trend line from 2005 is plotted against sales the past 6 years, sales for 2012 coulld end up to be around 72,000 units.

2005 was a significant year for home Greater Vancouver home topping, while detached home prices made gains every year except 2008 (as a result of the crdit crunch).

Housing affordability will also shift housing sales from detached houses to lower priced condos and townhouses. The suburbs could benefit from increased sales as homes are priced much lower than the major city centers close to Vancouver.

 

The recent bank tightening on equity financing on Line of Credit, review of equity mortgage lending to home buyers and New Immigrants could curtail home sales for 2012. If home sales in Greater Vancouver drop 10% from 2011 levle, we could end up with sale at around 69,100 units for 2012. It's anybody's guess as there are much uncertainties in the housing market.

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Government concerned with the health of Canadian housing market


Loose bank lending to be curtailed

Bloomberg released documents on concerns raised by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) that loosening mortgage standards poses an "emerging risk" to Canada's economy. The 152-page documents, revealed that OSFI worries banks are becoming "increasingly liberal" by handing out loans without requiring borrowers to prove they have sufficient incomes to pay them back.

2011ChartFinance Minister Jim Flaherty said he shares the concern of Canada's top banking regulator, that lenders are loosening their mortgage standards too much, but said any problems in the system are being corrected.

The Globe and Mail's article "Ottawa leans on banks to tighten lending" reported the Government convers with record-low mortgage rates being offered by some Canadian banks and the ease with which some institutions are advancing lines of credit. 

Too hot to handle

In another artilce by Moneyville.ca "Mortgage pullback hints of housing crisis" reported FirstLine, is no longer accepting new applications from so-called “stated-income” homebuyers. FirstLine is CIBC’s wholesale mortgage arm, announced Tuesday that it will no longer accept applications from homebuyers who can’t prove they have the annual net income to qualify for home loans.

In recent weeks, multiple stories cast some doubt on the sustainability of Canada's booming housing market. The Globe and Mail's article "Connect the housing bubble dots: There could be trouble on CMHC’s horizon" hightlighted the danger in the housing market. A housing price correction in the order of 10% or more will result in many home buyers owing more than their homes are worth.

Precarious trends for 2012

January 2012 ended with a not too encouraging outlook for the Greater Vancouver housing market. Overall sales activity during January 2012 was at or near record lows of the previous 10 years. But, January 2012 started off with a record new listing volumes of 5,763 homes. 

This is 20% higher compared to the 4,801 units listed in January 2011, and a 6.4% increase compared to previous record January 2010 when 5,417 homes were listed. The total number of homes for sale in Greater Vancouver at 12,544 was 20% more than the total active listings at the end of January 2011.

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Greater Vancouver Housing Report - December, 2011


Balanced real estate market prevailed through much of 2011

The 2011 Greater Vancouver housing market began with heightened demand in regional hot spots and concluded with greater balance between seller supply and buyer demand. View homes for sale in Greater Vancouver.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2011 reached 32,390, a 5.9 per cent increase from the 30,595 sales recorded in 2010, and a 9.2 per cent decrease from the 35,669 residential sales in 2009. Last year’s home sale total was 6.3 per cent below the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales in the region.

The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver increased 2.7 per cent in 2011 to 59,549 compared to the 58,009 properties listed in 2010. Looking back further, last year’s total represents a 12.8 per cent increase compared to the 52,869 residential properties listed in 2009. Last year’s listing total was 11.1 per cent above the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) property listings in the region.

“It was a relatively balanced year for the real estate market in Greater Vancouver with listing totals slightly above historical norms and sale numbers slightly below,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said.

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,658 in December 2011, a decrease of 12.7 per cent from the 1,899 sales recorded in December 2010 and a 29.7 per cent decline compared to November 2011 when 2,360 home sales occurred.

More broadly, last month’s residential sales represent a 34.1 per cent decrease over the 2,515 residential sales in December 2009, a 79.4 per cent increase compared to December 2008’s 924 sales, and a 12.6 per cent decrease compared to the 1,897 sales in December 2007.

The overall residential benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for Greater Vancouver increased 7.6 per cent to $621,674 between Decembers 2010 and 2011. However, prices have decreased 1.5 per cent since hitting a peak of $630,921 in June 2011.

“Our market remained in a balanced state for most of the year, although higher levels of demand for detached properties in the region’s largest communities caused prices in certain areas to rise higher than others,” Setticasi said. “For example, the benchmark price of a single-family detached home experienced double-digit increases in nine areas within the region over the last 12 months.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,629 in December 2011. This represents a 4.1 per cent decline compared to the 1,699 units listed in December 2010 and a 49.4 per cent decline compared to November 2011 when 3,222 properties were listed.

Sales of detached properties in December 2011 reached 630, a decrease of 18.1 per cent from the 769 detached sales recorded in December 2010, and a 30.2 per cent decrease from the 902 units sold in December 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11.2 per cent from December 2010 to $887,471.

Sales of apartment properties reached 774 in December 2011, a decline of 4.6 per cent compared to the 811 sales in December 2010, and a decrease of 32.9 per cent compared to the 1,154 sales in December 2009.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.7 per cent from December 2010 to $401,396.

Attached property sales in December 2011 totalled 254, a decline of 20.4 per cent compared to the 319 sales in December 2010, and a 44.7 per cent decrease from the 459 attached properties sold in December 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.2 per cent between December 2010 and 2011 to $511,499.

Read the full report.

Source: REBGV.

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Greater Vancouver Home Prices Since 2007


The price chart below for Greater Vancouver helped to sum up the home price movement before and after the credit crunch of 2008. The crash in the financial markets resulted in Greater Vancouver's detached home prices dropping 26%, while townhomes and condos dropped 20% and 13% respectively. View homes for sale in Greater Vacouver.

Greater Vancouver housing chart

The housing market rebounced after the crash

Within a year, all the losses in housing prices in Greater Vancouver were regained. Home prices advanced further through 2010 and early part of 2011. The supply of new listings since the beginning of 2011 helped to soak up the demand from home buyers.

By late April, 2011 home buyers frenzy started to subside and the market for townhouses and condos slowed considerably. The build up in inventory started to affect the market and helped the market turn from a seller market in early 2011 to a seller market by August, 2011. View homes for sale in Greater Vacouver.

There were some erosion in home prices resulting in a slight price decline in prices for condos and detached homes. Townhome prices were able to hold on without giving up it's gains in early spring of 2011. From the lows in 2008, home prices still managed to make substantial gains. At the end of November, 2011Condo prices were up 19%, townhouses up 34% and detached houses up 52%.

Projected Home prices for 2011 

Home buyers are watching the market closely. Less new listings coming onto the market and the expiry of many listings help to bring the supply and demand of homes to a more balanced market. However, the supply of new condos and townhomes from new developments could put pressure on these 2 markets.

Detached homes are holding on to it's gain. Most economists are in agreement that 2012 will be moderate with further easing in home prices. However, the decline in prices will be moderate. The ultra low interest rates in Canada will keep the housing market at its current pace.

The spring market will help to shape the market for the rest of 2011. A strong market will help to keep home buyers and sellers busy. If the market fails to ignite home buyers interest, the downside risk for bigger price decline may be expected.

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Metro Vancouver real estate market “balanced” - Conference Board


Greater Vancouver’s resell houses industry has transferred into a “balanced” range where neither client nor home owner have any particular advantage in discussing a purchase, according to a Conference Board of Canada document published Tuesday.

As well, the report’s writer stated that he board’s metro Resale Index – November 2011, there is no longer a risk of a property “bubble” growing in the location.

“The threat of a bubble has largely dissipated,” senior economist Robin Wiebe said of Metro Vancouver. “But, really, there never was one.

“When prices rise, new supply is attracted to the market. And that’s what’s happened.”

According to the index, the normal cost in Vancouver was $774,000 in October, 2% more than September and 15.3% more than October 2010.

As well, the amount of listings stood at 60,600 in October on an annualized seasonally changed base, which was 2.5 % less than September but 14 % more than October 2010.

The amount of sales in October – also on an annualized seasonally changed base – were 30,792, up two % from September and 0.8 % from October 2010.

The Fraser Area was in a healthy industry, with rates up 9.6 % year-over-year to $494,000, but Victoria was considered a buyers’ industry, with rates down 7.1 % year-over-year to $490,000.

Wiebe said there is now adequate supply and reasonable demand in Greater Vancouver meaning that a healthy industry exists.

He said that rapid regular cost growth in May and June, driven largely by sales of expensive houses in exclusive neighbourhoods, is no longer a significant component of Greater Vancouver, with sales of the expensive houses having moved through the system.

“Price growth from year-to-year in the last two months has been pretty good, but at 14.5 per cent it’s a way down.”

He said with price increasing about 20 % year-over-year in May and June, a lot of people list their houses on the market, in hopes for cashing in.

“It changed the market balance a bit. Sales have cooled, listings have gone up. So the market balance has shifted. It’s not surprising.”

Regardless, Wiebe stated, the amount of sales are reasonable by traditional expectations.

Nationally, sales were up in 17 of 28 areas from September to October, and new listings increased in 16 of 28 areas.

A total of 23 of areas were considered balanced, while four were a buyers’ market. List shortages in Thunder Bay resulted as the only sellers’ market.

As well, average home values increased between September to October in 16 areas.

Source: Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

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CMHC 2012 Home Sales Forecast


CMHC: Expect more of the same in 2012

BC has experienced balanced housing market conditions for over a year, and can expect to see more of the same in 2012, according to CMHC’s BC regional economist Carol Frketich and senior market analyst Robyn Adamache. Frketich and Adamache spoke at the CMHC Housing Outlook Conference in Vancouver, November 16.

One of the interesting things right now, Frketich said, is that we’ve continued to see price increases despite the fact we’re in a balanced market. In terms of market shifts, however, there’s usually a five to seven month lag time before prices change.

According to CMHC, BC home sales are forecast to hit 77,200 in 2011 and 81,900 in 2012, with BC housing starts expected to be 28,500 next year. In our Board area, sales are expected to increase by nine percent from a forecast of 33,000 sales in 2011 to 36,000 sales in 2012. CMHC also expects housing prices to increase next year at the rate of inflation.

Read the report here.

Or, will the market turns out worst than the forecast.

The graph below for Greater Vancouver shows a declining housing market since 2005:

Greater Vancouver Home SalesHome prices probably already reach the top and it could be under pressure to go down as current supply of homes are in excess of buyers. View homes for sale in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack.

Since 2005, homes sales on average dropped about 3.5% every year. With the continuation of this same rate of decline, 2012 could end up with a home sales figure around 328,500 units. Market sentiment may turn for the worst resulting in a larger drop in home sales for 2012.

Ultra low interest rate will help to cushion the soft market, but if buyers are holding off to wait and see how the market will turn out in spring, the high expectation for a spring revival in the housing market could be tampered.

The picture will be clearer around the midle of next year to find out if the market can be maintained at last years level, or continue the decline as shown on the graph above.

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Forecasting Home Sales For 2012


Home Sales Forecast For 2012

mlsresidentialsalesfourthquarter2011

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to rise 3.2 per cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 77,000 units this year, increasing a further 3.9 per cent to 80,000 units in 2012.

“Low mortgage interest rates are expected to persist through 2012 keeping affordability on an even keel,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, headwinds on the economic front will constrain consumer demand over the next year to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.” A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005. Read the full report here.

Will home sales turn out as forecast?

The Greater Vancouver home sales from 2001 to 2011 showed a shift in the sales ratio for condos to townhomes as more condos were built and sold during the past 6 years. An analysis on condo sales in Richmond showed that the condo market is the most vulnerable and the weakest link in the real estate market.

Home Sales Statistics2

The above 2 charts are showing home sales declining since 2005. Instead of a slight increase in home sales for 2012 as predicted, the housing market for Greater Vancouver could contract resulting in home sales dropping another 5% to 10% (29,600 to 31,200 units) in 2012.

Low mortgage rates help to boost home sales

Home buyers who are enjoying low mortgage rates now will eventually have to face higher rates sometime in the future.  For now the housingn market is a buyer market. Whether sales will pick up in spring next year to soak up the excess supply is hard to say.

The dynamics of supply and demand for homes will play out in the market. We will know by March, 2012 which way the market is heading.

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Increasingly More Condos Are Sold


More condos sold than before

ArcadiaBefore 2002, condos accounted for about 8,000 units compared to around 4,000 townhomes. The sales ratio for condos to townhouses was around 2 to 1. With home prices getting higher and higher, many more condos were sold compared to townhouses after 2002. View homes for sale in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack.

During this period, the ratio shifted to between 2.5 to 2.75 condos sold for each  townhouse. There were between 15,000 to 17,000 condos sold each year from 2003 to 2007. Most of the first time home buyers were younger buyers who bought condos as these homes are the most affordable to them.

Over the past 3 years Condo sales in Greater Vancouver average around 13,800 units ... some 41,000 home owners bought condos that were financed at ultra low mortgage rates. These buyers could be the most vulnerable to interest rates hike in the future. The danger is that the housing market could be set up for a long painful unwinding when interest rates start to spike up.

Buying a condo for investment

An earlier article analyzed the current investment risks faced by condos investors in Richmond. The same scenario could be applied to other cities around Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley. The attraction in condo investment for property value appreciation may have long passed us.

At current return on investment for condos at just around 3.0%, it is hard to justified being a landlord.

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Is Buying A Condo A Good Investment?


Buying a condo for investment - good or bad idea?

Below is an analysis on buying a condo in Richmond for investment and it's return. Overall, the price appreciation in condo value in Richmond has not been spectacular over the past 5 years. In fact, for those who bought their condos after 2006, there is great likelihood that these investors will lose money when they sell their condos.

Other investors who bought condos for investments elsewhere in Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley may be facing the same challenges.

Although condo prices gained in values, such gains are not significantly large enough to off-set their costs should they dispose their condos now. A drop in condo prices by 5% to 10% will result in these condo buyers losing money on their investments.

If condo investors are fearful of a dramatic market down turn, they will want to sell their condos before the market becomes unbearable.

Will the market be kind to condo investors?

An investor in 2007 could buy a 2 bedroom condos with around 850 sq ft at Lotus Living – 5900 Alderbridge Way73717373 Westminster Hwy or The Flo – 6888 Alderbridge Way7360 Elmbridge7362 Elmbridge Way in Richmond for around $450,000. Adding real estate commission around $16,000, these investors would have to sell their condos at $470,000 just to break even. Today, such condos can be bought at  $460,000 to $480,000.

When investors realize that there is a danger that the real estate cycle may turn against them, some will want to limit their losses by putting up their rental condos for sale.

A drop in price by 10% will result in these homes selling between $415,000 to $430,000!

The poor economic outlooks around the economies in Us, Europe and China are not encouraging. If these investors are concerned that condo prices could go down, some of them may want to sell their investment properties now before condo prices go down.

You can read the influence of low interest rates on home sales in Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley.

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The Housing Market Is Fueled By Low Interest Rates


Low interest rates fueling the Canadian housing market

The credit crunch in early 2008 resulted in multiple cuts and reductions in interest rates. The ultra low rates helped to save the real estate market from collapsing. Home sales in Greater Vancouver after 2005 were declining and crashed in 2008. The market recovered in 2009.

Home sales were sustained by ultra low interest rates the past 3 years. At this time, there are no pressure for the Canadian Government to raise interest rates in the near future.

The US, Europe and Asia are still trying to cope with their financial problems. Meanwhile, low interest rates in Canada had lulled many home buyers taking up mortgages they could hardly afford. There is a real danger that these home owners will not be able to cope if rates are raised 2% or 3% from the current level.

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Greater Vancouver Housing Market Outlook


Housing Market Outlook for Greater Vancouver

Below is a chart showing the sales of detached and attached homes from 1995 to 2011. The 2011 figures are based on 10 months actual sales from January to October, 2011 and 2 months projected sales for November and December. As can be seen from the chart, the market for home sales appeared to have peaked in 2005.

If a home sales trend line is plotted for Greater Vancouver based on home sales date since 1995, would point to a steady home sales deline at a rate around 3.5% a year since 2005. 

Based on market trend and momentum, home sales in Greater Vancouver for 2012 could be heading for a sales figure around 30,000 homes. But, any severe external shock from the US,  Europe or Asia could bring the sales number down below 30,000.

On the pricing front, some small decline in home prices was noted in Richmond, BC the past 3 months. The housing market in Greater Vancouver had turned soft since May, 2011. We do not expect the next 2 months to contribute to any meaningful recovery in sales number. View homes for sale in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack.

Will the market become active again early next year?

Some housing pundits are predicting home prices to go down the next 2 years. Most are predicting a moderate single digit drop in price. Home owners who bought their investment properties before 2005 can expect to do well if the property they bought are single family homes. Condo buyers who bought after 2006 are not expected to make much money if they sell at today's prices.

Sales activities for 2012 should be fairly active, but home sellers will have to adjust their prices according to the market. It is a buyer market now in Richmond with inventory hovering around 8.43 months supply of homes.

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Greater Vancouver Home Sales Statistics


Greater Vancouver Home Sales Data

What a ride from 1995 to 2011! Home prices were stagnant for a few years from 1995 to 2001. Greater Vancouver home sales took off when Canada's interest rates were cut several times and lowered dramatically after the dot.com burst. You can view the interest rates chart below to see the rate reductions over the past 10 years.

BankRates

Home prices in Greater Vancouver made specticular gain over the years, but sales and home prices took a beating in 2008 caused by severe liquidity problem and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US. The market recovered in 2009 and continued to rise until May 2011. The market eased off a littlle over the past few months.

REBGV_StatsPackage_October2011

What will happen the next 2 years?

Some economists are projecting the market will stay flat or declines a little the next 2 years. The next 2 years could be challenging years for the housing market to hold on to the gains made the past 10 years.

The chart below showed that home sales peaked some 6 years ago in 2005. How much of the gains will be lost is hard to predict. If sales remain active about 30,000 units, the erosion in home prices will be limited. However, if sales slump below 28,000 units, a bigger drop in home prices can be expected.

Sales Statistics

We will discuss and analyse the significance of the sales figures in another segment of this blog.

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