Insights for one of the Most Interesting Real Estate Markets in the World.
With sales volumes being down 37% consistently for the past 5 months does this mean that foreign buyers have been accountable for about 37% of all sales? Definitely not. For the most part, buyers have taken a wait and see approach, sitting on the fence as a result of government intervention and because of the unprecedented run up in sales volumes and market value increases over the the first half of 2016, all of 2015 and part of 2014. It’s believed that foreign buyers have been accountable for something more like 10% of all sales but, this varies significantly by area and by price range. Obviously the high end in West Vancouver, Coal Harbour or Yaletown or homes in Point Grey for example saw more foreign buyer activity than places like East Vancouver or North Vancouver.
657 single family detached homes sold in November, of these, 74 homes sold above the asking price. The House Price Index (for all of Greater Vancouver) is down 1 per cent month over month for Greater Vancouver and down 3 per cent over the past 3 months. West Vancouver is showing the biggest decline with the House Price Index down 10 per cent over the last 3 months.
1589 condos, townhouses and 1/2 duplexes sold in November, of these 332 sold above the asking price. Prices have remained stable, or flat, for townhouses, apartments and 1/2 duplexes.
Sales volumes in East Vancouver were actually 25 per cent higher in November compared to October. And while the number of sales have held steady for November, the number of new listings coming on market in most areas are down for November compared to October as well down from November 2015. The result is a dropping Active Listing count – finishing in November at 9,051 listings compared to 9,826 at the end of October. The number of new listings coming on market was 10.5 per cent below the average for November going back to 1991.
Distraction can have its effects on markets and that has certainly been the case for Metro Vancouver and beyond. Perhaps the pull back in demand, that actually started before the Foreign Buyer Tax, mortgage rule changes and the new City of Vancouver Vacant Home Tax announcement, had more to do with the market reacting to its own conditions than those imposed by the government.
Generally speaking, look for 2017 to be a normal year for the Metro Vancouver housing market with supply and demand being closer to balanced conditions but supply still remaining low. While detached homes are currently seeing a modest month-over-month decline, its still hard to predict how long this will continue. Attached housing will outperform detaching housing for the foreseeable future but then take into account that 2017 and 2018 will see more new condo completions than we saw in 2015 and 2016. Yet again, many of the new buildings coming to completion are expensive and they are not large buildings. Just look at all the main east/west arteries across the city for evidence of boutique sized buildings.
Growth in the total active listings count would be a healthy for the market as it would create opportunities for new buyers to enter the market. One thing is certain, there is a lot of confidence in our market. Canada's immigration policy, Vancouver’s position within the global marketplace, that the Vancouver Real Estate Board is a recognized leader in North America and that our MLS system provides buyers and sellers with transparency and visibility are all fundamental to the confidence and stability that a proper functioning market needs.
If you’d like more information on the current value of your home or homes in other neighborhoods, you are welcome to call me anytime. Thank you very much!