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Market Update

DECEMBER 2012

November continued the trend we have been seeing over the past 6 months: fewer homes listed for sale, decreased sales numbers and a gradual decline in average home prices. For a frame of reference, November sales for Greater Vancouver were 30.3% below the 10 year average, which is largely due to many Sellers simply pulling their homes off the market rather than lower their prices any further. New listings were also 12.9% below the 10-year average, while the sales-to-active-listings ratio remained constant from October at 11%.

Vancouver West:
Attached home sales were up 38.6% over last month and 15.1% over last year, while active listings were up 23.3% over last month and a whopping 76.7% over last year. This combination resulted in a drop of about 13% both compared to last month and last year. Interestingly, the average price per square foot is only down 2.6%, meaning that smaller, less expensive homes are making up a larger portion of the sales. Detached homes showed a 9.6% decrease in sales over September numbers and 32% over last year. Average pricing is actually up 3.2% over last year, though they have slipped 3.9% compared to last month. The hotspot here is the sub-$1m market, though the sample size is small. This is further evidenced by the higher absorption rates seen in the sub-$500k market.

Detached homes sales slumped 31.8% over October and were down a full 50% over this time last year. Active listings were higher 21.2% above last year, but down 10.8% since October. Average pricing dipped 8% compared to both last year and last month. The $1-1.5m segment is the only price point here with any traction at the moment and it actually moving nicely at a balanced 18.3% absorption rate.

Vancouver East:
Attached property sales remained steady with October numbers but slipped 24.7% compared to last year. Active listings were up 19.7% over last year and down 8.7% over October. Average pricing is actually up slightly over both last year and last month, despite average price per square foot declining slightly. This is mainly due to a shift towards larger and higher end units on the Eastside. Both the $500-600k and $800-900k range are selling well.

Detached homes sales climbed slightly over October numbers but are down 28.9% compared to last year. Inventory is consistent with November 2011 and has dropped 14.4% since October. Prices have edged up slightly here as well. The $600-900k bracket is performing well as many people are using the downturn in the market to make the jump into entry level detached homes.

Downtown:
Sales activity downtown was hit hard last month, with a 64.8% drop over last year and 45.2% over last month. That said, active listings were also down 35.6% and 40.4% respectively. Average pricing showed healthy increases, up 31.2% compared to this time last year, as did average price per square foot numbers. Somewhat surprisingly, the $600-700k was the busiest market segment here.

North Vancouver:
Showing signs of stabilization month over month, attached properties in North Vancouver still slipped 33% compared to last November. Inventory is up 14% over last here, but down the same amount over October. Prices slipped 11% since the month previous, wiping out prior gains and coming in 6.3% below last year. Breaking the trend, prices are actually up 17.2% over last year. The entry level market has picked up a bit of steam here.

Detached home sales fell further in November, down 20.8% over last month and 35.6% over last year. While listing inventory was up over 40% compared to last year, it has actually dropped 17.6% since October. A slight dip in sales prices was noted versus October, with a more noticeable 9.5% decline in the past year. The $600-700k segment here remains extremely hot, while the $1.2m+ range has slowed to a crawl.

Look for December numbers to continue the trends mentioned above. Lack of inventory should help prices stabilize. All eyes will be on January to see if inventory rises... and if demand increases to match.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season.

Rob

Unique Homes Blog

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