Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Homebuyers and sellers less active in July

Home sales activity in Greater Vancouver was quieter last month than most Julys over the past decade, with residential sales, prices, and the number of homes listed for sale trending downward in recent months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,255 in July 2010. This represents a 45.2 per cent decline from the 4,114 sales in July 2009, the highest selling July ever recorded, and a 24.1 per cent decline compared to June 2010. Looking back further, last month’s residential sales represent a 3.7 per cent increase over the 2,174 residential sales in July 2008, a 41.8 per cent decline compared to July 2007’s 3,873 sales, and a 17.5 per cent decline compared to July 2006’s 2,732 sales.
With the pace of home sales and listings easing off in our market, we’ve begun to see a levelling of home prices from the record highs seen in the spring, creating greater affordability. Activity
in today’s marketplace is clearly trending in favour of buyers.
The number of properties listed for sale on the market has been trending downward since spring, with 4,138 new listings in July compared to April’s peak of 7,648. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 17.9 per cent in July 2010 compared to July 2009, when 5,041 properties were listed for sale.
At 16,431, the total number of property listings on the MLS® in July declined 6.5 per cent compared to last month and increased 33 per cent compared to July 2009.
It’s currently taking home sellers who work with a REALTOR®, on average, 45 days to sell their property, which is a historically healthy timeframe for people on both sides of a transaction.
Since spring, housing prices have decreased 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April when the residential benchmark price was $593,419. Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 9.1 per cent to $577,074 in July 2010 from $528,821 in July 2009.
Sales of detached properties in July 2010 reached 908, a decrease of 43.7 per cent from the 1,614 detached sales recorded in July 2009 and a 9.8 per cent increase from the 827 units sold in July 2008. The benchmark price for detached
properties increased 11.5 per cent from July 2009 to $793,193.
Sales of apartment properties reached 979 in July 2010, a decline of 42.7 per cent compared to the 1,708 sales in July 2009 and an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the 966 sales in July 2008.The benchmark price of an apartment
property increased 6.2 per cent from July 2009 to $387,879.
Attached property sales in July 2010 totalled 368, a decline of 53.5 per cent compared to the 792 sales in July 2009 and a 3.4 per cent decline from the 381 attached properties sold in July 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 8.6 per cent between July 2009 and 2010 to $490,995

Source The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Monday, August 2, 2010

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s real estate markets have slowed a bit more than the B.C. Real Estate Association’s earlier predictions, prompting a downward revision in the group’s latest market forecast that includes a softening of prices.

Association chief economist Cameron Muir released his third-quarter forecast Friday calling for Multiple-Listing-Service recorded sales to dip down to 79,500 by the end of the year, a seven-per-cent decline from 2009.

In the association’s second-quarter forecast, Muir had predicted B.C.’s MLS sales would fall three per cent from the 85,028 recorded in 2009.

“We’ve seen consumer demand has tailed off in the summer months a little more than what was expected, and that accounts for the change in the overall unit-sales numbers,” Muir said in an interview.

And with inventories of active listings higher than they were a year ago, that means “some softness in home prices that is manifesting over the summer months,” he added.

Most markets in B.C. have hit buyers territory, which means house hunters have more power to negotiate deals than sellers do to set prices.

The result is that Muir is forecasting by the end of 2011, although sales should increase, the provincial average price should edge off a new high achieved in 2010.

By the end of 2010, Muir estimates that the average price across all property types will hit $492,880, 5.8 per cent higher than at the end of 2009. Most of that increase, however, represents a spike in prices that peaked in about May.

In 2011, Muir estimates the provincial average will come back to $489,454, with price declines in the high-priced markets of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley proving to be the biggest influence on that figure.

“The real question is on which side of zero [are prices going to] be,” Muir said.

To put markets into perspective, Muir said that while 2010’s sales are expected to come in at just below the 10-year average, and 2011 sales to hit the 10-year average.

“My expectation is for a gradual improvement in sales over the next 18 months rather than the roller coaster of activity we’ve seen over the past two years,” he added

Source The Vancouver Sun