“2016 will be another strong year for real estate market” ~ Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun
“53 neighbourhoods join Metro Vancouver’s million dollar club” ~ Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun
“Vancouver, Toronto real estate markets end year on sky-high note… Sales in both cities set records as prices continue to surge” ~ CBC News
“Metro Vancouver housing market sets new sales record in 2015 as prices keep climbing” ~ Garry Marr, Financial Post
“Vancouver Homes Sales in 2015 Break Records, Rise 28%” ~ REBGV
“Highest total of residential property sales for one year on record, says board, and benchmark prices up 33.6 per cent year over year” ~Joannah Connolly, REW.ca
WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE
2015 was a record breaking year! Sales for residential real estate in Vancouver rose 28%. The Zwick Chimes Real Estate Group results were no exception to the record-breaking trend. In 2015, our team sales totaled 210 compared to 142 in 2014, representing a 48% increase.
Month after month, the 2015 headlines pointed to strong competition due to low inventory resulting in upward price pressure, making Vancouver a “seller’s market.”
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
How long can and will this trend continue?
What factors both locally and globally will effect change?
No doubt you have come across scores of articles speculating what will transpire for 2016 in the Vancouver Real Estate Market. The bottom line; nobody knows for sure! Here are some thoughts from the Zwick Chimes Real Estate Group.
CHINESE MARKET SLUMP
We are hearing both arguments about what the slump in the Chinese market is going to mean to us in Vancouver. On the one hand, some of our developers are concerned. However, our Chinese clients speculate that it’s going to drive more money to safer markets… They certainly love Canada and Vancouver in particular.
That said, Currency markets must be heavily factored in. For months our CDN dollar has been hammered, falling below 70 cents last week for the first time in 13 years. Therefore, for the foreign market, local Real Estate pricing remains somewhat unchanged over last year. One would think that more foreigners would be flocking to US real estate. However, their market too has been on the rise and is now 30% more expensive than Canadian real estate, year over year.
It still takes long time to get permits and approvals from the city, which postpones everything from reno’s to new builds of homes, townhouses and condos. It’s too early to tell if inventory will increase (or worse, decrease) over last year but we are deeply hoping for an increase… a more balanced market is definitely in order!
AND BANK OF CANADA?
Speculation on rate change intensified last week with the weakening of both the CDN dollar and crude oil prices. We await the BOC’s revelation this week… many analysts are saying “a case exists for a rate cut on January 20th.”
Our best guess is that the first 6 months of this year will be very similar to the past 6 months, but beyond that nobody knows… NOBODY! Given that 2015 home sales were the highest (annual total) in REBGV history… Fasten your seatbelts!
The Holiday party season is upon us and with the election over and Trudeau sworn in, you are going to need something to talk about beyond the rainy weather. S o here's your opportunity to brush up on fast-facts about Vancouver's (still) booming Real Estate Market!
Vancouver market still Booming
I recently came across an article from the New Yorker; "Real Estate Goes Global" BY JAMES SUROWIECKI, where he explains that most expensive housing market in North America is not where you’d think...New York City or Orange County, California, but in-fact it is our very own Vancouver, BC. The author is intrigued. Yes, Vancouver is a beautiful city, an extraordinary place for recreation and enjoyment of nature. However, nothing about Vancouver's economy explains why in a place where the median income is only $70K... a single-family house now sells for "close to a million dollars apiece and ordinary condos go for five or six hundred thousand dollars."
"Close to a million?!" That had me doing a double-take!... Only to find out that indeed, the article was written approximately 18 months ago. "Close to a million" doesn't cut it any more. The average Eastside single family home has risen from $995K just last October to a whopping $1.288M this past month.
Prepare your "Elevator Speech"
Many Realtors take advantage of the Real Estate Board's monthly stats package, and use the data to create newsletters and postings with a plethora of information! The Board tracks all kinds of stats including inventory, sales, price, days on the market etc. It's an awful lot of information! Sure, we too provide full statistical details in our Monthly Newsletter but in the meantime - 'Tis the season to prepare your Vancouver Real Estate "elevator speech!" So when you are standing there, cocktail in hand, you'll be ready to impress!...
Inventory... What inventory?
1st important Real Estate message; Inventory is at a record low. Buyers are plentiful and Sellers are "staying put..." Sellers are aware that the market strongly favours them. But where will they go? They have no interest in participating in bidding wars. Which brings us right back to... inventory is remarkably low! The truth is, there are some very interesting, quality "attached" choices out there for downsizers and plenty of pre-construction and new-construction options to consider as well. I happen to know many downsizers who have cashed out and sold their family homes. They are elated with their new "cosmopolitan" lifestyle and the liberation of low maintenance living and worry-free travel.
We would be delighted to review your options with you and while at it… provide you with a home evaluation that will give you reason to feel especially festive this season!
Next... All of Vancouver homes are selling at their list price, or (+/-) 1-3% of list price. Unless you live in Tsawwassen where the homes are selling, on average, 8% above list price. The secret is out... buyers have discovered VALUE in Tsawwassen, especially in the $900K - $1.25M range with a 100% sales-to-active listing ratio. The landscape there is changing. Construction on the new bridge to replace the antiquated Massey Tunnel will begin in 2017. That's good news for commuters. Even better news for consumers... A huge Mall complex rivalling Burnaby's Metrotown is slated for an October 2016 opening.
Might be time to start thinking about a trip to Tssawwssen?! We would be happy to point you in the right direction and set up a few showings along the way!
DOM (and we don't mean the Champagne)
Finally… How about "Days on Market?” (DOM) Yes there is still a phrenetic energy out there! Homes are selling quickly across the board. Here’s a 5 year comparison of “DOM's” for select areas:
Unfortunately, in such a fast-paced market, once a property’s DOM surpasses the average illustrated above, it is immediately assumed that there is something wrong with it! This is unfortunate for the Sellers but could bring good fortune to all those buyers waiting in the wings… Yes, it is possible that a property does not sell because indeed, there is something wrong with it - perhaps the inspection did not go so well.
You must consider this too - you may be looking at a listing with an over-the-average “DOM” however, be open-minded! This may be a perfectly saleable property that has experienced the good fortune of a solid offer, or even multiple solid offers and has had the misfortune of resulting in a “collapsed offer.” Believe me, offers can collapse for many reasons other than a poor inspection. Don’t be fooled but those above-average “DOM’s” - dig deeper and stay open-minded. It could be your “leg-up” on the competition.
As one of the top teams in Vancouver and #1 here at Re/Max Crest Realty Westside, we are constantly fielding the kind of questions that really should be reserved for fortune tellers! What’s going to happen in the market? We can only rely on knowledge and experience and with that, we can assure you that in the past 10 months, we have witnessed countless Real Estate stories of hope & success… actually 185 (team sales since January) to be exact and we have countless more buyers just waiting for your listings! Yes!… it’s time to SELL!
Rhonda Sacks is an Associate Realtor with the Zwick Chimes Real Estate Group. Contact: email@example.com, 604-785-4145
I have to say, this has been one of the busiest starts to the year that we've seen in a long time. Across the board, listings are up, sales are up, prices are up and "days on market" are down. The market is showing a lot of activity, in every neighbourhood and in many different price points. We've seen MANY units go into multiple offers a few days after being listed, thanks to a high demand from prospective Buyers who are financially ready and knowledgeable of both the market and what they want in a home. Many Buyers have unfortunately been involved in a few unsuccessful multiple offer attempts, which increases the desire to secure a good property when it's listed. Mortgage rates are low, which gives some Buyers an extra financial lift, and with all the sunny days we've been having, properties show better and get people out of the house to view them. It's a Seller's Market, but the quality of homes on the market is getting better every week, giving Buyers some good options.
East Vancouver Update
The East Vancouver market remains one of the busiest markets in Vancouver, with a hot housing market, a new influx of condo buildings, and affordable options compared to the Westside. Houses in East Van are selling as quickly as they're listed. After a 57% increase in the number of sales in January, Detached Houses in East Van showed a 41% sales to active ratio, with a 71% sales to active ratio in the $600k to $1.25-million price range. Average detached prices are now over $1.1-million, which that average likely higher for neighbourhoods closer to downtown (Mount Pleasant, Main, Fraser, Knight and Victoria). The East Vancouver townhouse and half duplex market has been a sporadic market with monthly fluctuations in average price, sales to active ratios, sales and total inventory. We saw double the number of sales over January with average and median prices over $700k, though this market is arguably the most varied, with townhouses as low as $300k and half duplexes well over $1-million, which can easily cause some differences in price. The East Vancouver condo market has been busy this month with a 26% sales to active ratio and 50% more sales than the previous month, though last year at this time saw more sales. Prices increased 17% over last month to an average price of $407k and a median price of $379k.
Vancouver West Update
The Vancouver West Real Estate Market has been very strong the last month or two. Detached houses are showing a 21% sales to active ratio which is in line with the highest it's been in the last few years and indicates a Seller's market. The average price is $2.8M while the median price is $2.588M in Vancouver West. We saw the number of new listings quadruple since December and the number of sales increase to 167. The most active markets are Cambie, Kitsilano, Dunbar and Mackenzie Heights. The townhouse and half duplex market in Vancouver West is showing a 30% sales ratio (easily the highest it's been in the last few years) with the average price at $1.03M and the median price at $911k. The Vancouver West condo market has been busy as well, with a 28% sales ratio - though take heart prices are not at the highest they've been in the last few years - average price is sitting at $654k while median price is at $499k. The most active markets here are Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano and Fairview.
Like the rest of Vancouver, the North Van detached house market has been incredibly strong the last few months. The sales ratio is at 43%, easily the highest it's been in years with a 100% sales rate in the $900k to $1M price point. The median price is now $1.278M with the average sales price at $1.326M. Total inventory is at a low point, likely thanks to the high sales numbers. The most active markets are Canyon Heights, Edgemont, Lynn Valley, Capilano and Upper Delbrook. The townhouse and half duplex market in North Vancouver is VER busy with a 49% sales ratio, easily 10% more than any month in the last few years, with average and median prices in the mid-$600's. The condo market in North Vancouver is likely the slowest market, though it's doing well compared it it's recent history. It has a 22% sales ratio (higher than it's been in years) with average price at $408k and median price at $369k. The most active attached markets are Lynn Valley, Northlands, Central Lonsdale and Upper Lonsdale.
Give us a call to chat about your real estate goals.