Vancouver Real Estate Update - December 2009

December 2009 in Vanouver Real Estate

Wow. 2009 ended much differently than it began in Vancouver real estate. We started the year with one of the worst months ever recorded (January 2009) and then ended it with one of the strongest Decembers (the third strongest as per sales volume).

The benchmark price for residential homes in Greater Vancouver was up 16.2% (to $562,462) from December 2008 to 2009. The detached benchmark for the City of Vancouver was up even more to $1,115,023 (+27.81%). Over the previous year attached homes were up 18.46% ($635,766) and apartments were up 15.17% ($410,215).

We saw increases across the board in these number month over month…significant increases. They were +3.96% for detached, +5.29% for attached, and 1.13% for apartments. Considering that at the nadir, the Vancouver market dropped 15% in one year...seeing increases in the 4% - 5% range in just one single month is extremely significant.

Year over year there were enormous improvements across the board, not only prices. Sales in Vancouver were up (+146.59%) to 868. Listings were also up (+61.3%) to 742. Meanwhile, active listings were way down (-47.2%) to 2442 which meant we were down to a 2.9 month supply (-77.28%).

The Vancouver Real Estate Board’s official line

“Low interest rates, an economy emerging from recession and continuing to improve, and consumer confidence led to the  resurgence experienced in the Greater Vancouver housing market in 2009,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said. “Home sales neared or passed monthly records in Greater Vancouver throughout the latter half of 2009. In fact, last month’s home sales rank as the third highest selling December in the 90-year history of our organization.”

The Future of Vancouver Real Estate

While December is traditionally one of the slowest months of the year, the only month that is typically slower is January. I expect that we shall see the month of January will be a weak one (as we see history repeat itself).

Usually, February tends to pick up market activity significantly. Of course, this year is unique as we are hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Most likely, this will mean that we will be having another weak month as far as market activity but prices will likely continue to rise. I believe that we will see March resume the strength of the real estate market that was demonstrated in 2009.

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