Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring delivers greater balance to Greater Vancouver housing market

A closer relationship between home buyer demand and the supply of homes for sale has been having a stabilizing impact on home prices in the Greater Vancouver housing market over the last three months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,627 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2013. This represents a 6.1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,799 sales recorded in April 2012, and an11.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,347 sales in March 2013.

Last month’s sales equate to the lowest April total in the region since 2001 and 20.9 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

While the number of home sales remains below average, properties that are priced right are selling and we’re seeing greater balance between buyer demand and the number of homes listed for sale. This is having a steadying influence on home prices in the region.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,876 in April. This represents a three per cent decline compared to the 6,056 new listings reported in April 2012 and a 21.4 per cent increase from the 4,839 new listings in March of this year. Last month’s new listing count was 0.4 per cent above the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,730, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to April 2012 and an 8.2 per cent increase compared to March 2013.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the second consecutive month that this ratio has been above 15 per cent. Previous to this, May 2012 was the last time this ratio was above 15 per cent.

There have been modest increases in home prices across the region over the last three months. This comes on the heels of home price declines of approximately five to six per cent in Greater Vancouver during the last half of 2012.


Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in April 2013 reached 109, a decrease of 4.39 per cent from the 114 detached sales recorded in April 2012, and a 23.77 per cent decrease from the 143 units sold in April 2011.

Attached property sales in April 2013 totalled 93, a 30.99 per cent increase compared to the 71 sales in April 2012, and a 13.88 per cent decrease from the 108 attached properties sold in April 2011.

Sales of apartment properties reached 148 in April 2013, a 22.31 per cent increase compared to the 121 sales in April 2012, and a decrease of 10.44 per cent compared to the 134 sales in April 2011.

Source Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Saying Good-bye to Nasty Neighbours—New Community Safety Act takes aim at problem properties

Increasingly in our neighbourhoods there are problem properties where persistent, unlawful and dangerous activities threaten neighbourhood safety and security.

There properties may be derelict, or the site of criminal and nuisance activities such as drug production and trafficking, prostitution, unlawful liquor sales, child abuse, unlawful weapons or explosives, and activities conducted by gangs and organized crime.

Now, new provincial legislation introduce on February 21, 2013 promises to target and shut down these properties which:
  • Adversely affect the health, safety or security of one or more persons in the community or neighbourhood, or
  • Interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of one or more of the properties in the community or neighbourhood.
The Community Safety Act, if passed, will enable residents who are adversely affected to submit complaints to a new community safety unit.

This unit, staffed with a director of community safety, will have the authority to investigate and mediate complaints and work with the owners of problem properties to resolve complaints.

The legislation targets properties where the occupants may frequently change, but the problem activities persist, and the property owners fail to take effective action to stop them.

If problems continue, a community safety order may be granted, which could potentially bar named individuals from the property or end occupancy for up to 90 days.

If problems persist, the director community safety has the authority to levy fines for:
  • Individuals – a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in prison for first offence, and up to $25,000 and on year in prison for subsequent convictions.
  • Corporations – a fine of up to $25,000, and a fine of up to $100,000 for subsequent convictions.
The new legislation would provide local governments with an additional tool to respond directly to residents’ concerns about safe communities.

Similar legislation is in force in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Yukon.

“This legislation is about giving residents a simple, timely, safe way to report properties of concern and help make their streets safer,” said the Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

“We still want residents to report criminal activity to the police. But sometimes, even when police make arrests, problems continue at a specific address this proposed legislation will fill a gap, enhancing public safety by forcing landlords to deal with chronic, illegal and dangerous behaviour on their properties,” explained Minister Bond.

The proposed Community Safety Act is available at:

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