Vancouver September real estate stats: buyers' revenge
Today, as widely expected, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board released its stats for September (boy, they work quickly over there).
Let’s be clear on this: the GVREB is a “member-based association of more than 11,000 REALTORS® who live and work in communities from Whistler to Maple Ridge to Tsawwassen and everywhere in between. The Board advances and promotes the interests of those engaged in the business of real estate.”
So, then it’s no surprise that the title of their report is Conditions continue to favour buyers in the Greater Vancouver housing market.
Here’s the lede: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,516 in September, a 32.5 per cent decline compared to the 2,246 sales in September 2011 and an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 1,649 sales in August 2012.
September sales were 41.6 per cent below the 10-year September sales average of 2,597.
Eugen Klein (no ‘e’ on the end, and he’s a very decent fellow) says: “Today, our sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 8 per cent, which puts us in a buyer’s market. This ratio has been declining in our market since March when it was 19 per cent,” Klein said.
To most people, a ‘buyer’s market’ is something that is tied to ‘affordability.’
Buried farther down, we find that “the benchmark price for detached properties decreased 0.5 per cent from September 2011 to $935,600, and … “the benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 0.7 per cent from September 2011 to $368,600.”
Counterintuitive to this, a sales rep in Surrey informed me that their company had almost sold out of their entire inventory of new homes that came onto market in the spring.
Then again, they weren’t priced at a million dollars (and Surrey is part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board).
FVREB chairman Scott Olson said that “In fact, apartment sales last month in Surrey, Langley and White Rock were higher or comparable to September of last year keeping prices across the Fraser Valley resilient… The benchmark price of apartments in Fraser Valley in September was $207,000, an increase of 4.1 per cent compared to $198,800 in September 2011.”
Four percent is a lot better than a .5 percent interest rate on a savings account, giving further ammunition to the argument that real estate is your best investment.
Because we all have to live somewhere.