August was a lot busier than expected.. for both sales and general interest in the market even though fewer listings were available. This past August saw an overall 50% increase over August 2012, which is pretty significant for a typically slow month.
Though inventory numbers are still rising - we expect the peak to be around the beginning of October - there aren't a ton of good options right now. Expect good properties to get a lot of interest and sell quickly. Subscribing to my PCS Listings Service will help - it'll email you with new listings that match your criteria every day, often before the listings hits Public MLS. You'll be able to stay on top of everything on the market, and you'll also be able to see if listings have sold, or dropped their price.
The banks are becoming more picky with requirements for lending - we've seen quite a few deals fall through due to financing. We expect these lending hassles to bring the Fall Market down a notch - it'll still be busy just not as hot as expected. Keep in mind that in with accepted offers falling through due to financing, properties aren't sold until all subjects are removed. Submitting a back up offer is a consideration in this kind of market.
An overall trend I've noticed in the market is a decrease in listings over last year and an increase in sales. Reading between the lines - this means there is more competition for fewer listings.
Let's take a look at the specifics for each type of property and location in Vancouver:
Starting in Vancouver West, the prices continue to average around $2.7-million, though the median sale price is $2.1-million indicating there are quite a few properties available under the $2-million mark (and with the absorption rate over 40%, there's a lot of interest as well). This has been a steady market over the last year and there shouldn't be much change in the next little while. Kitsilano and Point Grey saw a lot of activity the past month.
Vancouver East is a different story. The average and median price sit at $944k with a 25% absorption rate overall. The hottest price brackets remain $700-900k where I'd guess people are either trying to get into the market at a lower price point, or investors are buying "lot value only" properties (to build a new house or duplex), which list for less than a livable house would. There's still quite a big difference between the neighbourhoods in Vancouver East - those houses along the Main St corridor and in Cedar Cottage are still in much more demand than those closer to the Burnaby Border.
North Vancouver saw the biggest drop in Detached action with fewer sales and listings compared to last month. The price rose slightly to average just over $1-million, with that price bracket running a 59% absorption rate.
Townhomes & 1/2 Duplexes
Vancouver West saw quite a big jump in Average price last month - that's due to a $3.5-million downtown townhouse sale. Without that sale, the average would be running closer to $950k. The overall trend continues here with fewer listings than this time last year, but but more sales, with each price bracket showing a healthy absorption rate.
Vancouver East saw a drop in Median & Average pricing to the high $500k mark, with an increase in price per sqft leading to the conclusion that the total square footage is dropping (averaging around 1200sqft). That didn't deter Buyers as there was a 180% increase in sales over August 2012. After a quick review of the listings that sold in August - half of them were built in 2012 or 2013. Townhomes and 1/2 duplexes are certainly trending upwards in East Van.
North Vancouver holds the lowest price per sqft of townhomes and 1/2 duplexes (at $404), however the average price is still above $650k (more than Vancouver West, less than Vancouver East). With units averaging over 1800sqft, they are quite big compared to the other areas of town. North Vancouver saw a huge 171% increase in townhouse sales over last year.
Condos in Vancouver West followed the overall trends of the market - 25% fewer listings than last year, with 36% more sales. The average and median prices are remaining steady. With an average of $650k and a median of $480k we can conclude that half of Vancouver West's condo sales were less expensive than $480k, with some expensive listings bringing up the average to almost $700k (almost one third of the listing were over $650k in price). Not surprisingly, a high majority of the sales were 2 bedrooms or less, with every price bracket running a good absorption rate.
Heading into East Van you'll see a much different story. The $340k average price is much more affordable for first time home buyers (of 1 bedroom condos), and it offers a mix of condos with half of the sales being built in 2002 or more recent. Given the low prices, the average price is much more likely to fluctuate with any higher number, so slight changes in price here shouldn't be a worry.
North Vancouver is following the same trends as the other markets, so nothing here is too surprising. The average price per sqft is about the same as East Van, though the average price is higher meaning the units are larger (which is expected in older buildings).
Now that summer is over and we're into the Fall market, things will continue to heat up as people try to secure a new home before Christmas. Let us know if you're considering buying or selling in the next little while and we'll help ensure the process is as smooth and successful as possible.
Vancouver special tour
A feature in a rew.ca article
I was recently featured in a REW.ca article about Vancouver Specials. We renovated our own Vancouver Special a few years ago and I blogged about the transformation. Take a look at the article..
Go to REW.ca Vancouver Special Article >>