Cory Raven | 604-220-9399

 
 
This is a MUST READ 2 page PDF dealing with reflections on 2009 and the Vancouver Real Estate Market.  Will Mortgage rates rise?  Should I lock in my mortgage? Should I buy presale?
 
Cory Raven
Managing Broker
TAC Real Estate Corp.
604-220-9399
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The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver just released their stats for July 2009 and it reflects what any Realtor in town will be able to tell you; July was an amazingly busy month
 

July stats:

Strong spring market carries into summer months

VANCOUVER, B.C. – August 5, 2009 – The Greater Vancouver housing market gained further momentum in July with record sales levels and a continued strengthening of home prices.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,114 in July 2009, becoming the highest volume of sales ever recorded within the REBGV for that month, outpacing the 4,023 sales in July 2003, which is the only other year that July sales exceeded the 4,000 mark.

Since the beginning of the year, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.2 per cent to $528,821 from $484,211. However, home prices compared to July 2008 levels are down 5 per cent.

“Home sales this summer are seasonally higher than normal, which is due in large part to the price correction that has taken place in the last year and low interest rates,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said. “Although wellpriced listings and lower-to mid-range priced properties remain in the highest demand across Greater Vancouver, recent activity from first-time buyers is beginning to boost demand in the “move-up” segment of the market.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 17.4 per cent to 5,041 in July 2009 compared to July 2008, when 6,104 new units were listed. At 12,482, the total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 5.8 per cent compared to last month and 34 per cent compared to July 2008.

“It is currently taking, on average, 48 days for a home to sell in the region. Today’s market activity differs by area and property type and it’s important to tap into local housing market expertise to understand why some properties are attracting multiple offers, while others are not moving,” Russell said.

July 2009 home sales declined 3.4 per cent compared to June 2009, but are up 89.2 per cent when measured against the 2,174 sales recorded in July 2008.

Sales of detached properties in July increased 95.2 per cent to 1,614 from the 827 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The HPI benchmark price for detached properties declined 5.5 per cent from July 2008 to $711,702. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for detached properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.8 per cent.

Sales of apartment properties in July 2009 increased 76.8 per cent to 1,708, compared to 966 sales in July 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 4.3 per cent from July 2008 to $365,291. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for apartment properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.6 per cent.

Attached property sales in July 2009 are up 107.9 per cent to792, compared with the 381 sales in July 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 4.6 per cent between July 2008 and 2009 to $452,085. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for attached properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 6.8 per cent.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in July 2009 compared to July 2008:

DETACHED:   

Burnaby up 121.7 per cent (153 units sold from 69)  

North Vancouver up 53.3 per cent (115 units sold from 75)  

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 60 per cent (160 units sold from 100)  

Richmond up 140.2 per cent (221 units sold from 92)  

Vancouver East up 66.4 per cent (208 units sold from 125)  

Port Coquitlam up 236.4 per cent (74 units sold from 22)  

Vancouver West up 104.5 per cent (180 units sold from 88)  

South Delta up 203.1 per cent (97 units sold from 32)  

West Vancouver up 108.1 per cent (77 units sold from 37)  

Sunshine Coast up 60.5 per cent (69 units sold from 43)  

ATTACHED:   

Burnaby up 123.3 per cent (134 units sold from 60)  

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 77.7 per cent (64 units sold from 36)  

North Vancouver up 70 per cent (51 units sold from 30)  

Vancouver West up 110 per cent (105 units sold from 50)  

Richmond up 152.1 per cent (179 units sold from 71)  

Vancouver East up 195.8 per cent (71 units sold from 24)  

Port Coquitlam up 117.6 per cent (37 units sold from 17)  

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 77.7 per cent (64 units sold from 36)  

Coquitlam up 88.2 per cent (64 units sold from 34)  

APARTMENTS:   

Burnaby up 72.8 per cent (235 units sold from 136)  

North Vancouver up 47.9 per cent (105 units sold from 71)  

Richmond up 85.5 per cent (230 units sold from 124)  

Vancouver East up 64.2 per cent (179 units sold from 109)  

Vancouver West up 94 per cent (584 units sold from 301)  

New Westminster up 70.6 per cent (116 units sold from 68)  

Coquitlam up 62.3 per cent (86 units sold from 53)  

Port Moody/Belcarra up 138.1 per cent (50 units sold from 21)  

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Market conditions drive strong June housing sales

VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 – The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.

“Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said.
 
“Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs,” Russell said. “However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.”

Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 per cent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.

The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in June 2009 compared to June 2008:

Detached:

Burnaby up 109.7 per cent (151 units sold from 72)

Coquitlam up 122.2 per cent (160 units sold from 72)

Delta - South up 107.7 per cent (56 units sold from 27)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 54.3 per cent (162 units sold from 105)

New Westminster up 104.8 per cent (43 units sold from 21)

North Vancouver up 96.2 per cent (153 units sold from 78)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 120 per cent (33 units sold from 15)

Richmond up 77.4 per cent (204 units sold from 115)

Squamish up 107.7 per cent (27 units sold from 13)

Sunshine Coast up 33.9 per cent (75 units sold from 56)

Vancouver East up 71.2 per cent (238 units sold from 139)

Vancouver West up 85.2 per cent (200 units sold from 108)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 117.8 per cent (98 units sold from 45)


Attached:

Burnaby up 81.8 per cent (140 units sold from 77)

Coquitlam up 80 per cent (54 units sold from 30)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 48.6 per cent (55 units sold from 37)

North Vancouver up 121.2 per cent (73 units sold from 33)

Port Coquitlam up 82.6 per cent (42 units sold from 23)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 77.3 per cent (39 units sold from 22)

Richmond up 84.5 per cent (155 units sold from 84)

Vancouver East up 118.5 per cent (59 units sold from 27)

Vancouver West up 121.8 per cent (122 units sold from 55)


Apartments:

Burnaby up 60.4 per cent (239 units sold from 149)

Coquitlam up 93.9 per cent (95 units sold from 49)

New Westminster up 57.1 per cent (121 units sold from 77)

North Vancouver up 71.4 per cent (120 units sold from 70)

Port Coquitlam up 58.1 per cent (49 units sold from 31)

Port Moody/Belcarra up 128.6 per cent (48 units sold from 21)

Richmond up 54.1 per cent (225 units sold from 146)

Vancouver East up 58.7 per cent (165 units sold from 104)

Vancouver West up 87.2 per cent (627 units sold from 335)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 155.6 per cent (23 units sold from 9)

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First-timers drive a rebounding market

'Vancouver detached house prices are the lowest they have been in two or three years,' say one couple convinced that the time is ripe to purchase

Globe and Mail Update
 

Judging from the many shoes littering the front porches at open houses in recent weekends, it's clear that people are back buying houses.

Without a doubt, the market has picked up, and we're barely into March. It's a far cry from the abysmal real estate market of last fall and January this year.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, residential housing sales were up 94 per cent last month compared with January. That translates into 1,480 sales for the month of February alone. January, on the other hand, was a record-setting sluggish month - the slowest for housing sales in 25 years.

The growth defies the sky-is-falling pronouncements that have made headlines since September last year. But there is a growing perception that it's a buyer's market. A recent RBC/Ipsos Reid poll revealed that 26 per cent of B.C. residents surveyed believed they would purchase a home in the next two years, despite the view that house prices will continue to fall over 2009.

The condo market is also feeling a surge of life, real estate marketer Bob Rennie says.

"Sales are up," he says. "We have sold 19 [units] at One Madison Avenue in Burnaby in the past six weeks, and another nine at L'Hermitage at Robson and Richards in the past 10 days.

"I do think that the market is seeing a little bit of confidence, combined with some great opportunities with great interest rates."

Armed with low interest rates and realizing a good deal when they see one, brave contrarians are defying fears.

"People can see the value - and the value is phenomenal," real estate agent Lorne Goldman says.

Mr. Goldman says he had a house for sale last year on the city's pricey west side with an asking price of $2.4-million. The sellers were offered $2.3-million, but the buyer failed to complete. The same house is now on the market for $1.85-million.

"It's also very basic Real Estate 101," he adds. "There are people who are getting married, there are people who are married having more children, people being transferred into Vancouver from other cities. There are people who have inherited money who want a bigger house.

"The market continues, despite what is out there in the general economy. The fundamentals are there. People still need to buy groceries, and they still need shelter."

Karin and Sean Whale are unfazed about talk that house prices may fall further or that it's not a good time to sell a home. They recently had a baby and are motivated by their changing lifestyle.

The couple owns a three-storey townhouse on the east side of the city near trendy Commercial Drive, and with the latest addition, they've outgrown it and are looking to trade up to a detached house. They don't worry about selling and buying into the same market.

"Buying low and selling low is not a scary proposition to us," Ms. Whale says. "We need more space at this time in our lives ...Vancouver detached house prices are the lowest they have been in two or three years."

Long-time Vancouver real estate agent David Campbell says that, unlike a year ago, it isn't the fixer-uppers and in-between houses selling. Demand is high for nice ones that don't require a lot of work, and there aren't a lot of them on the market. And the people buying, he says, are either first-time buyers or homeowners such as the Whale family who are trading up.

"We have many buyers, but we have seen the return of first-time buyers," Mr. Campbell says. "For a good part of, let's say, the last nine months, first-time buyers have been staying out of the market. They were a little scared as to what was happening last fall. But interest rates are at record lows, and prices have adjusted downward, and there are lots of first-time buyers coming back.

"We're getting a lot of move-up buyers as well taking advantage of the low interest rates who say, 'Now I can afford that spread up to the next one.' "

And unlike last fall, when the bottom fell out of the market, they aren't making low-ball offers - the prices have firmed up, he says.

"Last Sunday I had the busiest open house since April," Mr. Campbell says. "I had three offers on a house in 24 hours and it sold over asking."

But not just any house is selling, he adds. Buyers are being selective in this uncertain market.

"They want a good home, so they are picking the better ones," Mr. Campbell says. "That's where we get multiple offers."

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Cory Raven
Telephone:604-220-9399
Cory Raven - Managing Broker
RE/MAX Select Realty
4806 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3R8