Vancouver Real Estate Report - April 2013
Months of Inventory (MOI) dropped for the third month in a row for detached homes and apartments to under 6 months and for the second consecutive month for attached homes to under 5 months. If MOI drops to under 5 months for more than a month or two, then it could herald an end to falling prices but so far the change in the MOI trend is reminiscent of the same period between January and March of last year when MOI dropped for all product types to under 5 months. Last year those same MOI figures bounced back to high points not seen since the credit crisis - to over 14 months for detached homes.
MOI was deflated in March on the Westside by increased sales volumes to more than 150 detached homes, 58 attached homes and 324 apartments. These have been heartening times for a Realtor© (like me) after the comparatively low sales volumes of the last 6 months. It affirms my own experience that the spring market has thus far been a good one. If you want to sell, the time is now (or yesterday). Keep in mind that these sales numbers are all lower than the high points (generally March) of the spring markets since 2009. 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 progressively fewer sales each year.
Active listings have stayed stubbornly high, particularly for detached homes which sat at 892 on March 31st. The active listings low points in 2012 were the highest ever for annual low points for all home categories. It will not be a surprise if active listings crack 1000 for detached homes and reach up to 2500 for apartments before the year is over. Inversely to sales volumes, active listings' low and high points have been, for the most part, increasing progressively each year.
The lower MOI is indicative of a typical spring market and in many ways it probably indicates that a sudden or radical drop in prices is now unlikely. However, the longer upward trend in MOI suggests that prices will continue to fall slowly but steadily. Unless MOI drops and stays below 5 months for a protracted period, my forecast remains that 2013 will continue to see a trend of falling prices that could extend for some time.
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.
By SAM WYATT - VANCOUVER REALTOR