Happy New Year Everyone! Only two weeks into the year and we're already in full swing! Our team already has a few accepted offers, increased interest on the listings we put on the market late last year and lots of phone calls from interested Buyers and Sellers. New and previously unsold listings are hitting the market every day and this shouldn't slow down for the next little while as many people are still settling into a routine after the holidays.
The fall season was busy, especially November, but the holidays came quick and interest slowed considerably in the last few weeks of December. We expect a lot of Buyers who spent their time looking in the fall to be ready to buy in the first few months of the year. Many have already spoken with Mortgage Brokers, and are getting ready to sell the property they currently own.
One of our resident Mortgage Brokers, Chris Harley, has this to say about the 2014 Mortgage Market:
"After a tumultuous 2013, I expect the Canadian residential mortgage market to be more stable in 2014. There are strong indications from the Bank of Canada that any increases in the prime lending rate this year are unlikely. Economic uncertainty and even possible deflation risks should give the BoC pause on an aggressive rate stance. There is a possibility that longer term fixed rates might edge up a bit as the US Federal Reserve slows down its program of buying up US government bonds, but I suspect that the effect will be minimal. A stable interest rate market will be a positive for the Canadian real estate market.
Having said this, lenders are stepping up their due diligence and it takes good team work between your realtor, mortgage broker and legal representation to put deals together and close them efficiently. If I can be of help in 2014, please do not hesitate to call me."
Expect every neighbourhood to see a drop in listings and sales in December. Important points to note are whether or not prices dropped considerably, the differences between last year and what to expect in 2014.
VANCOUVER EAST CONDOS
Overall, the Vancouver East Condo market stayed fairly consistent with a slight drop in prices but a steady price per square foot. Almost every condo sale in Vancouver East was under $600,000, maintaining it's affordability in the Vancouver Real Estate Market. Notice the increase in sales over December 2012: interest and quality of product is gradually increasing in the Vancouver East Market. Downtown, Main, Mount Pleasant and Fraserview remain the hottest areas.
VANCOUVER EAST TOWNHOMES & 1/2 DUPLEXES
In the Vancouver East Townhome and 1/2 Duplex Market, we're seeing only slight increases in prices over last month, with the median at $761,000 and the average at $930,000, indicating a number of homes listed under $760,000 with a few high end homes increasing the average. Notably, there are almost twice the sales as this time last year. Aiding this increase in interest and sales is the fact that Developers are favouring East Van to build Multi Family Townhome Complexes. BC Assessments were released last week and townhomes and 1/2 Duplexes in East Vancouver saw an overall rise in Assessed Property Value, supporting the stability we're seeing in the market. Expect this market to continue seeing interest in the next year as families living in two bedrooms condos look to move up, we're just hoping there will be enough good product for them to buy. We currently have a 2011-built 3 bedroom townhome, across from Charles Dickens School in Fraser, on the market for $775,000. The first weekend of open houses was one of our busiest in months, with continued interest ever since.
VANCOUVER EAST DETACHED HOMES
Vancouver East Detached Homes are the hottest market in Vancouver Real Estate. This sentiment is supported by these statistics and the continued interest we're seeing in the market - sales doubled over this time last year while average prices increased. The biggest challenge for us is finding our clients what they're looking for, and getting it for a good price given some of the competition out there. Buyers, remember to keep an open mind renovations can go a long way for East Vancouver Homes. Location is still a big factor in pricing, with almost every home selling between $700,000 and $1,750,000. Areas within a few blocks of Main St are still the most popular, with Grandview, Hastings, and Fraser not far behind. Detached Homes in East Van saw an increase in their assessed values this year, whereas assessed values decreased slightly on the Westside.
VANCOUVER WEST CONDOS
The Vancouver West Condo Market saw an expected drop in interest during the holidays, but prices have remained steady over last month and last year. There is good interest across every price bracket. In Vancouver West, the median, currently $475,000, is a better indicator of the price of a typical one or two bedroom condo. Fairview, Kits, False Creek and Downtown remain the hottest markets. With the number of recently completed Westside or Downtown condos, as well as presales for condos under construction, this market will not be short of inventory.
VANCOUVER WEST TOWNHOMES AND 1/2 DUPLEXES
The Vancouver West Townhome and 1/2 Duplex market is generally holding steady, aside from the holiday drop in listings and sales. The Number of Sales is up over this time last year and the difference in prices is small. Vancouver West has a wide array of townhomes and 1/2 duplexes, from mid range $500k to $800k townhomes across Vancouver West (Kitsilano, Fairview and Downtown always being the popular areas), to higher end 1/2 Duplexes and Triplexes listed over $1-million (primarily in Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant/City Hall). The absorption rates for each price bracket are good, indicating a lot of interest, specifically for the less expensive listings.
VANCOUVER WEST DETACHED HOMES
Look at the difference between this year and last year - sales are more than double. Admittedly, last December was quite slow in Real Estate, though the prices are up as compared to last year so interest in Westside Detached Homes has returned. There is good interest across are price brackets, with most falling between $1.5 and $2.5-million, and a significant number of listings offered between $2.5 and $3-million. The higher end market has it's Buyers as well, with the $4 to $4.5-million market performing well. The hottest neighbourhoods are Kerrisdale, Dunbar, SW Marine and Shaughnessy.
NORTH VANCOUVER CONDOS
Condos in North Vancouver saw the listings and sales decrease amidst the holidays, after a significant increase in sales over last year. Prices are stable, with the median at $380,000 and the average slightly higher at $443,468. The absorption rates are high across each price bracket with a lot of interest in the $660,000 to $890,000 market. Lower and Central Lonsdale remain the busiest markets.
NORTH VANCOUVER TOWNHOMES
North Vancouver townhomes have not seen the same trends as many other neighbourhoods. The number of sales and listings is down compared to last month and last year, yet the prices have increased at least 20% in the same time frame. Taking a look at the properties that are currently active: a quarter of them were built in 2012 and 2013, which is a likely explanation for the increase in price per sqft. The average and median price are closely matched around the $750,000 mark.
NORTH VANCOUVER DETACHED HOMES
Detached homes in North Vancouver followed the same trend as most other markets: sales and listings were down for the holidays but sales were up significantly over this time last year. North Vancouver remains a great place to buy a family friendly home thanks to the tree lined streets and quiet neighbourhoods. Median and Average Price dropped slightly, with the median at $967,500 and the average sitting at $1.05-million. It's hard to pinpoint any hot markets since the listings and sales are spread out across neighbourhoods, but Canyon Heights, Roche Point and Central Lonsdale have some of the better sales numbers.
One last point to consider: there have been a few changes within Strata Property Management which will benefit Buyers and Sellers thanks to full disclosure of allocation of parking and storage lockers, as well as the requirement for Strata Properties to have a Building Depreciation Report completed, or postponed a year. We'll see how this affects how Buyers or Lenders view prospective condo buildings.
Give us a call if you're interested in talking Real Estate in 2014, we're happy to help you through the process of buying your next home.