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Market Update

OCTOBER 2013

September came and went and we saw some good activity in Vancouver Real Estate. Though the number of listings did increase over last month, it wasn't a large increase by any means, especially compared to the high number of listings in September 2012. We had quite a few clients looking to buy a place with their mortgage rate hold, while others jumped on the few good places that came up for sale. Inventory wasn't fantastic, so many of the good listings received multiple offers, while other listings are still waiting for offers. Townhomes across Vancouver are a very strong market, and the East Van House Market has a lot of activity.

As we noted last month, we expect October to see the peak in number of listings and quality of listings, so keep your eyes on the market and let us know if you want to see any listings or need our professional opinion.

Vancouver West

HOUSES

The detached market in Vancouver West is quite strong right now. The number of listings is on the rise and the number of sales increased by 14%, which is considerable compared to other markets in Vancouver. The median price remained steady ay $2.2-million, while the average price dropped slightly to $2.5-million. Having said that, the busiest markets are the $1-million to $2.5-million, with some very high end listings bringing up the average - there are 104 homes listed above $5-million in Vancouver West.

TOWNHOMES

The Vancouver West Townhome market remained strong this past month. We saw slight increases in listings and sales, along with large increases in median price (up 19% to $938k) and average price (up 14% to $1.2-million). Like most other townhome markets in the city, compare the difference in price to last year and we're looking at huge increases: median price is up 40% and average price is up 59%. The most active townhome markets are those sold for $650k and up, with most units being 3 bedroom homes. About half of the current townhomes for sale in the Westside of Vancouver are in Kitsilano and Fairview.

CONDOS

Location is arguably the biggest factor in determining price in Vancouver Real Estate, and that rings especially true when it comes to condos in Vancouver West. With such a varied market, including Downtown Vancouver and everything south of False Creek and West of Ontario St, there will be huge differences in prices and inventory.

As a whole, condos in Vancouver West are selling well. Slight increases in sales and listings (about 2%), with slight decreases in sale prices (between 5 and 11%) mean the market is moving along. The average price per square foot remains just about the same as last month, and last year.

The best performing markets are Kitsilano, False Creek, Shaughnessy, Cambie and Fairview - not surprising since they are close to Vancouver proper where many people work, live and play. Condos sub-$425k (which is also the threshold for Buyers to redeem the full First Time Home Buyers Benefit) are the best performing price bracket.

Vancouver East

HOUSES

The East Van Houses for Sale is a hot market right now. In trying to book an East Van house tour for some clients recently, 8 out of the 11 properties I called had accepted offers or just recently sold (for very close to list price). Unfortunate luck for my clients, but more listings will keep coming on the market and it could be a good thing that they won't be competing with these motivated Buyers.

In terms of the market stats, the numbers haven't changed much since last month - though the median sale price dropped to $910k and the average East Van house price increased to $952k, this is thanks to the ebb and flow of the market and the quality of listings coming up for sale. The bigger story here is the change from last year! We had double the number of sales this year compared to last year, with higher prices and less inventory. Like I said, East Van Houses are in demand right now.

The biggest markets are between $800k and $1.25-million (not at all surprising), though there's still some interest in the $600k to $800k market (which typically means it's small, needs a big reno, or is further East).

TOWNHOMES

The townhome market in East Van is growing - both in interest and number of listings. We saw a 10% increase in listings over last month (and a 120% increase in listings over last year), and though the number of sales remained the same, I expect that number to increase in October. Sale prices jumped by $40k in Median Price and by $75k in Average price, over last month thanks to better inventory and motivated Buyers. Most townhomes are designed for families, with at least 3 bedrooms.

There are a number of new townhome/half duplex developments planned in East Van for the next year or two, and with prices stabilizing in Vancouver Real Estate, expect this market to remain fairly consistent.

CONDOS

Vancouver East is still a great market for entry level, 1 bedroom condos. With a good mix of old and new condo buildings, you can find a unit for a good price in an upcoming area of town. Due diligence is required to ensure the building you're buying into is in good condition and managed properly, and considering the amount of re-zoning and development in Vancouver East, it would be smart to talk to the city about any potential construction that could change the dynamic of the area you have your eye on.

Prices increased slightly over August, with a 10% difference in Average Price. Interestingly, the prices now sit very close to what they were in September 2012, with an average of $480/sqft. This market remains fairly strong, and with an 18% absorption rate, it's a balanced market for both Buyers and Sellers.

North Vancouver

HOUSES

The North Vancouver detached market shows some positive numbers for Buyers. The number of listings increased to 379, the days on market decreased to 40 days, while the median price dropped to $968k and the average price dropped to $1.05-million. The most activity is between $600k and $1-million. When we look at comparing September 2013 to September 2012, we'll see the same trend as the condo and townhome market - a huge 71% increase in sales, a 26% decrease in listings and slight increases in average and median prices.

TOWNHOMES

The townhome market in North Vancouver is similar to the condo market. Listings were up, sales were down, and prices remained fairly steady compared to last month, with the average price landing at $693k. The big story here is the positive improvement over last September: many more sales and an increase in prices. The average days on market increased significantly as well (from 18 to 57), though with a 115% increase in the number of sales, an increase is expected.

CONDOS

The North Vancouver condo market wasn't very strong in September. Sales decreased by 11% and the average days on market increased by over 25%. The average price (and average price/sqft) increased to $405k this month, but that's thanks to a couple higher end sales (above $890k) rather than a shift in the market. This is also evident in that the median price dropped, indicating that half of the 57 sales were less expensive than $360k. One good note on the North Vancouver condo market - it's improved quite a bit over September 2012.

New listings are constantly hitting the market, and many Buyers are eager to buy and move in before Christmas. If you see a home you like online, give us a call, we'll get you in to see it as soon as possible.

Rob

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