Olympics aftermath: rising home prices and a seller's market
What's going on in this spring market of 2010? Since this is my intro blog I thought we would go back a little further than April and talk about what’s been happening since the world came to visit us a couple of months ago. You might be surprised to discover, like I was, that February was actually quite a busy month for us. Residential sales in Greater Vancouver for February 2010 totaled 2473, which is a 67.1% increase from the previous February and a 28% increase from January, with 110 of those homes being sold downtown. Quite surprising considering how challenging it was to get around and park downtown.
As expected for a normal spring market, March was a big month for listings with over 7 thousand new homes (attached, detached and apartments) being listed in the MLS system, bringing the March total to 13,538 homes for sale. Sales for March totaled 3,137 homes which is a 38.5% increase from March 09 and a 26.8% from the previous month. Which brings us to April, again another busy month with 3,512 sales, and 7,648 new listings, bringing the current total up to 15,901 homes for sale in the Greater Vancouver area.
Ok, let’s talk price. Now, if at this time last year, you were sitting on the fence hoping and praying that prices were going to keep dropping so you could invest, brace yourself…this is going to sting. In the past year the bench mark price of a detached home in Greater Vancouver went up 21.2% to reach a high of $818,403; apartments and attached properties had similar increases: 16.9% ($397,779) and 16.4% ($502,399) respectively. Please bear in mind that these figures are bench mark prices for all of Greater Vancouver – your area will show similar percentage increases but with significantly different dollar values depending on where you are.
So, where does all of this leave us…and where is it all going? I think a number of factors were contributing to this strong spring market: the looming HST, low mortgage rates and their probable increase, and a pent up housing demand. A lot of the activity we’ve seen recently has been with first time buyers and properties priced under half a million dollars. As for the future, the general consensus from most Realtors and other professionals in the business I’ve spoken to recently is that we are going to see a slower, more balanced market in the coming months. When the May stats come out next week, I bet we see a significant decrease in sales and a small decrease in listings, if they decrease at all, pushing us in the direction of more supply and a little less demand.
New trends to keep an eye on: the over a million dollar housing market and mainland China money coming our way.
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