2013 is off to a quick start. Now that we're into February, we're that much closer to the busy Spring Real Estate Market. Here's our take on what happened in January.
Listing inventory is up 15-32% over last month, and you can expect that to continue as we approach Spring. This is great news for Buyers who have shown a renewed sense of interest in dipping into the market, and great news for Seller's who may have been sitting on their properties for longer than they initially hoped. Sales are up at least 15% in every market, with the exception of the Vancouver East Detached Market, which also had the lowest increase in inventory. Breaking down each sub-area:
Attached Homes in Vancouver West saw Average prices decrease and Median prices increase. This is thanks to a high number of sales in the sub-$700k market, with most being 2 bedroom units. We still saw a decent Absorption Rate in the $1million+ market at 9%. The highest demand in this market came from the $300-500k (1 and 2 bedroom units), thanks to the first time Buyer's who have been looking to get into a market with a stable interest rate and falling prices (price per sqft is down 3% and sales are up about 36% over this time last year).
After a slow December, sales are up 65% in the Detached Vancouver West market, and both Average and Median prices increased as well. The highest demand was in the $1.5-2million range (and 4+ bedrooms), though there was movement in each price segment. Days on Market is down from last month, though still much higher than last year so be realistic in your expectations.
Attached Homes in Vancouver East showed a lot of movement, with a 72% increase in sales over last month, even though the number of active listings increased only 17% (which is one of the lowest increases in each market). The highest demand ranged from $400k-$600k and $700k-$900k (with no sales over $900k). Price per sqft is down slightly over last month, and the Median Sale Price increased 22%.
Detached Homes in Vancouver East did not show a lot of movement compared to the other markets. Only 15% more active listings and the same number of sales as last month. The demand was found in the $600-700k market, meaning most Buyers are settling for the same amount of square footage as many 2 and 3 bedroom condos, yet the luxury of owning a single family home (and one that probably needs some updates).
The Downtown Vancouver Market saw a big increase in Sales, and a decrease in Average and Median Sale Price. It seems like Buyer's are taking their time to go through the inventory as the Days on Market increased over last month. This hottest market is the entry level sub-$400k, with the $400k-800k performing well.
The Attached Market in North Vancouver showed an increase in active listings and number of sales, amidst lower median and average sale prices. The price per sqft is down from last year and last month, with the $600k-$700k market performing best, and, like East Vancouver, no sales over $900k.
The Detached Market in North Vancouver improved in every category: more listings, more sales, stable prices and fewer days on market. The highest demand was in $800k-$1million and at least 4 bedrooms. Lots of people starting to look for detached homes are changing their search to include both East Van and North Van.
Look for further increases in listing inventory and more active sales next month. With interest rates stabilizing until at least 2014 and a healthy number of eager buyers, it looks like we will have another busy Spring market this year. If you're interested in getting into the Market, now is a great time to start preparing - talk to your Mortgage Broker, think about your "Must Haves" in a new home, and start to prepare your current home to be listed.
As usual, feel free to touch base with any of your questions!
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