Vancouver Real Estate Report - March
The Spring market has started and it promises to bring sales volumes out of oblivion for a short respite. If you are thinking of selling, the time is now. The timing of new record low 5-year fixed mortgage rates of 2.79% seems designed to try to give the market a boost - if only for a short while.
February's Months of Inventory (MOI) for detached homes dropped for a second month to 8.56 months. This drop was due to increased sales volumes. Westside house sales rose from only 83 sales in January to 104 in February. This is heartening but active detached listings also grew from 771 to 890 and more should be anticipated over the next few months.
The trend since the run-up after the credit crisis has been declining sales volumes in which both the high and low seasons (Spring and Winter) have generally seen progessively fewer sales each year.
Similarly, active listings' low and high points have been, for the most part, increasing progressively each year.
The effect of these two factors is seen in the Months of Inventory, which has been trending upwards since late 2009 and more clearly since early 2011.
This has all been happening in spite of a series of record breaking interest rates being announced over the same time period. The latest record was just unveiled in the last week - a 2.79% fixed rate 5 year term mortgage. Like the previous rates, this one will likely create a short term spike in sales followed by a longer term acceptance of the unbelievably low rates as the new normal. Result: the declining market trends will almost certainly continue.
The bottom line continues to be that prices are falling. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's Westside detached home HPI index is down over 10% from its high point last Spring. By end of summer I expect this to have fallen another 10%.
SELLERS (especially of detached houses): The time has come and gone to sell at the top of the market but the Spring market is the next best thing. PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL ME FOR A PROPERTY EVALUATION.
BUYERS: Spring is bringing a dizzying volume of listings to choose from and plenty of vendors compelled to negotiate in earnest. Throw in a 2.79% fixed rate for good measure. If you need a long-term home it is a fun time to be shopping (though it's been tiring with so much to see).
I am presently selling ALDER CROSSING and THE WESTERLY two boutique developments in Fairview Slopes and West Kitsilano respectively. Pricing is sharp. At Alder Crossing Investor's Studio apartments start at $239,900 and two bedroom and den townhomes with 250 sq.ft. roof decks are priced at $769,900. At The Westerly one bedrooms start at $319,900 and 2 bedrooms start at $469,900. The best part is that HST does NOT apply.
Remember that Months of Inventory (MOI) is a measure derived from the number of active listings during a given month divided by the number of sales that month. It indicates the theoretical length of time it would take to sell all of the properties on the market if nothing changed. Historically, 0-5 months of inventory has generally implied upward price pressure for the ensuing six months, 5-8 months of inventory meant a flat market with respect to pricing and over 8 months of inventory has, for the most part, precipitated downward price pressure.
Do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions and please pass this and my contact information along to any friends or family who might benefit from my services.
SAM WYATT - VANCOUVER REALTOR