Lately, here in Vancouver we’ve had amazing sunny, dry autumn weather.  Problem is many of us didn’t experience it.  If you happen to live below the upper levels highway, there is an excellent chance you have lived in thick grey fog for the last week or so.  Each day we hear it’s sunny, but that fog will roll in and change the landscape in moment.  It reminds me of the real estate market.

It’s all how you look at it and from what angle.  Ask 20 people what they think about the market and you’ll get 20 different answers, all with serious conviction.  Some of those people will have absolutely no real estate experience, but happened to hear their brother in law, who’s good friend just sold his house for record $$ and so now is an expert. It happens all the time.  Truth is all we can really deliver are the facts.  The facts right now show the market has improved, rather drastically if you compare to last year, but to compare to last year would be like comparing Cabernet Sauvignon with Sauvignon Blanc – but we do it anyway???

The real news is: The market is enjoying a return to normal if not slightly below 10 year average sales.

But headlines read: 

  • “Vancouver’s Real Estate Market Posts Big Gains” (Huffington Post-Oct. 2, 2013)
  • “Strong Home Sales in Vancouver” (Financial Post-Aug 15, 2013)
  • “Greater Vancouver Real Estate sales in crease 63.8% over last year.” (CREA -Oct 24, 2013)

 

Factually, September’s sales were 1% below the average 10-year sales.  That’s good, but not so exciting to report.  Also Listings were about 3.5% below the 10 year average – which is also good news.  We could use a little less supply to create some more demand.

 

Overall it feels healthy out there in the market place.   After a year of stagnant numbers, sales have been steadily returning to normal levels and of note, the number of properties going over asking has been increasing. 

The Sales to Active Listings is one of the benchmarks analysts refer to when testing the strength of the market and likely hood of prices to rise and fall.  Generally prices will rise when the Sales to Active listings are above 20% and are falling when they are below 12%.  Here’s a snap shot of that as of Sept.

Home prices  have actually declined since September of last year, but may feel more like they are on the rise since they have improved slightly as of January this year. 

Average price is skewed somewhat however by the increasing number of properties sold in the luxury/high end of the market.  We were a little surprised to see how the numbers look when stacked up against each other. 

Though the bulk of the transactions are taking place in the lower price points (these are stats for all of GVRB).  We know house prices in Vancouver West start at 1,200,000 –(did find this odd little home on a 16ft wide lot for $999,000 in Kits)

But let’s face it, you are hard pressed to find anything on either the Westside or West Van for under 1.2 and North Van, well you can still find an ok house for $800,000 – but you better be quick…

Overall, things are clicking along at a reasonable pace, prices in the higher end tend to make less sense.  Here are some examples of some big profits that were made in these most recent sales (from Sept).  Check out the purchase date and purchase price and then the sale price.  Pretty nice for a couple investors…By the way, the Angus Drive house was not renovated – pure profit.

So despite some news,market fluctuations, and doom and gloomers, real estate in Vancouver continues to prove be a solid investment.  Buy in the right neighborhood and buy a view whenever you can, listen to the facts and keep an eye out for the bargains.  They are always out there.  We know!