Prepare for gridlock, line ups and snarly drivers within a 1 km radius of Park Royal – 'tis the season, as the holidays approach. This is time of year the real estate agents secretly head to Maui to recoup for the next round. Or is it? Staying in town to sell real estate this year could prove to be worthwhile!

We experienced extra ordinary sales in October 2014 – 16.6 % higher than the 10 year average due to strong demand from home buyers. Generally speaking (because there is no across the board truths when the topic is real estate!) sales are up as are prices and we are predominately in a sellers’ market.

This is true of North Vancouver, East Vancouver and in pockets of the Westside. In actual fact the worst performer is again - West Vancouver – the *sales to listing ratio. It looks like this:

Rate   Area Sale to List
1 Eastside Detached 37%
2 North Van Detached 32%
3 Downtown Detached 29%
4 Westside Detached 18%
5 West Van Detached 16%

 

*The number of sales relative to the number of new listings generally over 20% is considered a sellers’ market

High End Sales get higher -The continued increase in high end sales of luxury homes sends the average price up significantly for Greater Vancouver. Sales such as these top 5 on the MLS this year (there was a private sale of a condo for $25 million not on this list):

 

Note - the lowest sales are coming from North Vancouver, hence the very active market we are experiencing there with strong demand for any properties priced up to $1 million.
Overall it’s been an incredible year for real estate and a banner year for Andrews Group. ?

The nagging question is always what’s next? Predictions are (from Cameron Muir of the BC Real Estate Association – yes he is an industry guy, but he’s very good).  We will continue to see strong sales through to mid 2015, at which time, the long awaited, much anticipated hike in interest rates is expected to occur.  However the change is not to have a negative effect on prices, but more a precursor to a reduced number of sales resulting in a leveling out of home prices. 

We continue to see a high demand for building lots.  There are more and more entrants into this field of the market.  We don’t have facts, but we are willing to guess the number of speculative home builders has increased two fold in the last 5 years as many of the foreign buyers/investors enter into the fray.  This results in increased pressure on demand and a dwindling supply of this product.  Therefore the cost of a good building lot has increased more so than the cost of the average “reasonable” resale home.

Builder’s must make a profit, so the high cost of land and the ever increasing cost of building has put the price of a new home to new heights.  Recent sales of this type of product in the most desirable of neighborhoods in North Van are pushing the ceiling.  Just look at the numbers - 13 sales in 2014 over 2.5 million in and around the Edgemont area alone. 

The highest was 4.5 million for 2988 Brookridge, but this was a particularly outstanding property on 1 full acre a stone’s throw from the village.  More to the point was a (pre) sale of 3.3 million for 4259 Lions – a new home on an 11,000 sq. ft lot with a floor area of 6,000 sq. ft. (a pre-sale!!!)

In contrast, last year (2013) there were only 4 sales in the same area over 2.5 million.  The top seller last year was a property at 3197 Bewicke in Delbrook.  This property was on a 14,000 sq.ft lot and was 7,300 sq ft of house.

 

So one can clearly see the increase from one year to the next! Just 4 days ago 4130 Lions was listed at 3,488,000 (double 8’s to cross out the deathly 4). This price for 6,000 sq. ft new home on a 10,000 sq. ft lot is really breaking the ceiling.

There are better bargains to be had west of Bayridge in West Vancouver, this area is overlooked while the feeding frenzy takes place in certain pools of properties on the North Shore.

Despite the many naysayers of early 2014, the Vancouver market continues to defy all odds and common sense – which is about the only thing you can say is consistent about this market. We at Andrews Group continue to keep a watchful eye and remain busy throughout the holiday season……well one of us is going away.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Aloha till next year..?