No Comments

Vancouver Real Estate Statistics – May 2017

Market activity picks up in May

Home buyer activity returned to near record levels across the Metro Vancouver housing market in May.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,364 in May 2017, a decrease of 8.5 per cent from the 4,769 sales in May 2016, an all-time record, and an increase of 22.8 per cent compared to April 2017 when 3,553 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 23.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average and is the third-highest selling May on record.

“Demand for condominiums and townhomes is driving today’s activity,” Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “First-time buyers and people looking to downsize from their single-family homes are both competing for these two types of housing.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 6,044 in May 2017. This represents a 3.9 per cent decrease compared to the 6,289 units listed in May 2016 and a 23.2 per cent increase compared to April 2017 when 4,907 homes were listed.

The month-over-month increase in new listings was led by detached homes at 27.1 per cent, followed by apartments at 22.7 per cent and townhomes at 14.1 per cent.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,168, a 5.7 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726) and a 4.5 per cent increase compared to April 2017 (7,813).

“Home buyers are beginning to have more selection to choose from in the detached market, but the number of condominiums for sale continues to decline,” Oudil said.

The sales-to-active listings ratio across all residential categories is 53.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 31 per cent for detached homes, 76.1 per cent for townhomes, and 94.6 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“While sales are inching closer to the record-breaking pace of 2016, the market itself looks different. Sales last year were driven by demand for single-family homes. This year, it’s clear that townhomes and condominiums are leading the way,” said Oudil. “It’s important to work with your local REALTOR® to understand the different factors affecting the market today.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $967,500. This represents an 8.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

Sales of detached properties in May 2017 reached 1,548, a decrease of 17 per cent from the 1,865 detached sales recorded in May 2016. The benchmark price for a detached property is $1,561,000. This represents a 3.1 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,025 in May 2017, a decrease of 5.8 per cent compared to the 2,150 sales in May 2016.The benchmark price for an apartment property is $571,300. This represents a 17.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 3.1 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

Attached property sales in May 2017 totalled 791, an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to the 754 sales in May 2016. The benchmark price for an attached property is $715,400. This represents a 13.1 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

No Comments

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Statistics – April 2017

Condominiums and townhomes in high demand across Metro Vancouver

Demand for condominiums and townhomes continues to drive the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 3,553 in April 2017, a 25.7 per cent decline compared to April 2016 when 4,781 homes sold and a 0.7 per cent decrease from the 3,579 sales recorded in March 2017.

April sales were 4.8 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.

For the first four months of the year, condominium and townhome sales have comprised a larger percentage of all residential sales on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver. Over this time, they’ve accounted for 68.5 per cent, on average, of all residential sales. This is up 10 per cent from the 58.2 per cent average over the same period last year.

“Our overall market is operating below the record-setting pace from a year ago and is in line with historical spring levels. It’s a different story in our condominium and townhome markets,” Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Demand has been increasing for months and supply is not keeping pace. This dynamic is causing prices to increase and making multiple offer scenarios the norm.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,907 in April 2017. This represents a decrease of 19.9 per cent compared to the 6,127 units listed in April 2016 and a three per cent increase compared to March 2017 when 4,762 properties were listed.

The total number of residential properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,813, a 3.5 per cent increase compared to April 2016 (7,550) and a three per cent increase compared to March 2017 (7,586).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2017 is 45.5 per cent for all property types. This is two per cent below March 2017 and is indicative of a sellers’ market. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

By property type, the sales-to-active listings ratio is 26 per cent for detached homes, 58.2 per cent for townhomes, and 82.2 per cent for condominiums.

“Until more entry level, or ‘missing middle’, homes are available for sale in our market, we’ll likely continue to see prices increase,” Oudil said. “There’s been record building this past year, but much of that inventory isn’t ready to hit the market.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $941,100. This represents a five per cent increase over the past three months and an 11.4 per cent increase compared to April 2016.

Over the last three months, the benchmark price of condominiums has seen the largest increase in the region at 8.2 per cent, followed by townhomes at 5.3 per cent, and detached homes at 2.8 per cent.

“Home buyers are looking to get into the market and they’re facing fierce competition,” Oudil said. “It’s important to work with your local Realtor to help you navigate today’s marketplace.”

Sales of detached properties in April 2017 reached 1,211, a decrease of 38.8 per cent from the 1,979 detached sales recorded in April 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,516,500. This represents an 8.1 per cent increase over the last 12 months and a 1.8 per cent increase compared to March 2017.

Sales of apartment, or condominium, properties reached 1,722 in April 2017, a decrease of 18.3 per cent compared to the 2,107 sales in April 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $554,100. This represents a 16.6 per cent increase over the past 12 months and a 3.1 per cent increase compared to March 2017.

Attached, or townhome, property sales in April 2017 totalled 620, a decrease of 10.8 per cent compared to the 695 sales in April 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $701,800. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase over the past 12 months and a 2.4 per cent increase compared to March 2017.

No Comments

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement – April 12, 2017

The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is holding the target for its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that economic growth has been faster than previously expected, boosted by what the Bank sees as temporary spending from the oil and gas recovery and a boost to consumer spending by the Canada Child Benefit. However, export growth remains challenged and business investment is low. Therefore, the Bank judges that it is too early to conclude that the economy has turned a corner.  In addition, CPI inflation is trending below its 2 per cent target while the Bank’s three new measures of core inflation continue to drift lower.

That downward trending inflation, along with uncertainty in United States policy,  seems to be the main barriers keeping the Bank from raising its benchmark overnight rate. While there is some remaining slack in the economy, as measured by the output gap, the Canadian economy has been growing well above the Bank’s estimate of potential growth (1.5 per cent) for three consecutive quarters including a first quarter 2017  in which available data points to above 4 per cent growth.  In addition to strong GDP numbers, the economy is adding jobs at a rate of 35,000 per month over the past six months, the highest level of job growth since 2010. Should this momentum continue, it is likely we will begin to see a more hawkish Bank of Canada in the second half of the year and a first rate increase in early 2018. 
No Comments

March 2017 Vancouver Real Estate Statistics

Demand for homes continues to outpace supply in Metro Vancouver

A shortage of residential property listings coupled with strong demand, particularly for condos and townhomes, continued to impact Metro Vancouver’s housing market in March.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 3,579 in March 2017, a decrease of 30.8 per cent from the 5,173 sales recorded in record-breaking March 2016 and an increase of 47.6 per cent compared to February 2017 when 2,425 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 7.9 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While demand in March was below the record high of last year, we saw demand increase month-to-month for condos and townhomes,” Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Sellers still seem reluctant to put their homes on the market, making for stiff competition among home buyers.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,762 in March 2017. This represents a decrease of 24.1 per cent compared to the 6,278 units listed in March 2016 and a 29.9 per cent increase compared to February 2017 when 3,666 properties were listed.

This is the lowest number of new listings in March since 2009.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,586, a 3.1 per cent increase compared to March 2016 (7,358) and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to February 2017 (7,594).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2017 is 47.2 per cent, a 15-point increase over February. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Home prices will likely continue to increase until we see more housing supply coming on to the market,” Oudil said.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $919,300. This represents a 0.8 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to February 2017.

Sales of detached properties in March 2017 reached 1,150, a decrease of 46.1 per cent from the 2,135 detached sales recorded in March 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,489,400. This represents a 5.0 per cent decrease over the past six months and a one per cent increase compared to February 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,841 in March 2017, a decrease of 18.3 per cent compared to the 2,252 sales in March 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $537,400. This represents a 5.2 per cent increase over the past six months and a 2.1 per cent increase compared to February 2017.

Attached property sales in March 2017 totalled 588, a decrease of 25.2 per cent compared to the 786 sales in March 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $685,100. This represents a 1.3 per cent increase over the past six months and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to February 2017.

No Comments

Canadian Housing Starts – March 8, 2017

Canadian housing starts were essentially flat compared to January, albeit up slightly to 210,207 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in February. The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts continues to rise with new home construction on a 204,700 unit pace

In BC, total housing starts were slowed substantially by snowfall in February which prompted starts to decline 45 per cent year-over-year  Single detached starts were down 24 per cent while multiple unit starts were down 51 per cent year-over-year. We expect that construction will pick up significantly with the onset of spring.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 52 per cent year-over-year as unusually snow conditions slowed the pace of homebuilding. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 5 per cent year-over-year, though starts of single detached units actually increased by 20 per cent. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA declined 29 per cent compared to last year due to a drop in multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA fell 89 per cent as weather conditions halted most new construction.

No Comments

RBC – Financial Markets Monthly – 3 March 2017

RBC Financial Market Monthly

We are two months into 2017 and economic data continue to signal good momentum in advanced economies much to the relief of forecasters following years of “serial disappointment”. Europe in particular is seeing its share of upside surprises. Economic sentiment in the euro area remains at cycle highs and purchasing managers’ index readings broke above recent ranges in February. Somewhat unexpectedly, the greatest improvement has been seen in France―despite heightened political risk. While the recent trend in the data is encouraging, we remain wary that uncertainty surrounding a number of elections could dampen economic activity. UK data have remained strong early in the year after the economy dramatically outperformed expectations in H2/16 post-referendum. Indicators have been a bit more balanced in Canada, growth and employment numbers have been strong but underlying details (weak in- vestment and flat non-energy exports) continue to highlight challenges facing the economy. The Bank of Canada remains cautious given risks posed by potential changes in US policy.

A strong US outlook, with upside surprises on employment and inflation, seems to have shifted the Fed toward a ‘sooner than later’ mentality on monetary policy comments from a number of Committee members point to a March rate hike. Markets took that shift in stride, with US Treasury yields remaining within recent ranges while equity markets continued to rally (to record highs for the S&P 500 and MSCI World Index on March 1) despite the expectations of tighter monetary policy. The prospect of fiscal stimulus in the US continues to buoy stocks even as details remain sparse and challenges for the passage of policy changes rise, while investors seemingly dismiss downside risks from protectionist trade policies.

Call or email me for the full RBC report – 778 385 6141 or adam@chahl.com

No Comments

Vancouver Real Estate Statistics – February 2017

Low supply continues to limit Metro Vancouver home buyers

Reluctance amongst Metro Vancouver* home sellers is impacting sale and price activity throughout the region’s housing market.

Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,425 in February 2017. This is a 41.9 per cent decrease from the record 4,172 homes sold in February 2016 and an increase of 59.2 per cent compared to January 2017 when 1,523 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 7.7 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.

“February home sales were well below the record-breaking activity from one year ago and in line with our long-term historical average for the month,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Limited supply and snowy weather were two factors hampering this activity.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,666 in February 2017. This represents a 36.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,812 units listed in February 2016 and an 11.4 per cent decrease compared to January 2017 when 4,140 properties were listed.

This is the lowest number of new listings registered in February since 2003.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver is 7,594, a four per cent increase compared to February 2016 (7,299) and a 4.9 per cent increase compared to January 2017 (7,238).

The region’s sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2017 is 31.9 per cent, a 10-point increase from January. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand. This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets,” Morrison said.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $906,700. This represents a 2.8 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

Sales of detached properties in February 2017 reached 745, a decrease of 58.1 per cent from the 1,778 detached sales recorded in February 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,200. This represents a 6.5 per cent decrease over the past six months and is unchanged compared to January 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,275 in February 2017, a decrease of 28.8 per cent compared to the 1,790 sales in February 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $526,300. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase over the past six months and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

Attached property sales in February 2017 totalled 404, a decrease of 33.1 per cent compared to the 604 sales in February 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $675,500. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

No Comments

Canadian Real GDP Growth (Q4’2016)

March 2, 2017

The Canadian economy expanded at a 2.6 per cent annual rate in the fourth quarter, beating expectations of 2 per cent growth.  Economic growth continues to be led higher by strong household consumption spending, though an uptick in exports was also a significant contributor. Due to a slow start to the year and disruptions caused by the Alberta wildfires,  the Canadian economy grew just 1.4 per cent overall in 2016.
 
There are clear signs of momentum in the Canadian economy, with strong hiring and economic growth over the past six months and we expect the Canadian economy will post significantly stronger growth in 2017 about 2.1 per cent.  That rate of growth should be enough to put the economy on a path toward eliminating excess slack in the economy by mid 2018, pushing inflation back to its 2 per cent target. If so, we expect the Bank of Canada may consider raising its overnight rate early next year while long-term rates and mortgage rates may creep higher in 2017. 

No Comments

Property Transfer Tax Increase – Budget 2017

On the heels of multiple government announcements in 2016 and early 2017, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcomes the latest: an increase in the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold for first-time buyers, announced in Budget 2017. The increase, to $500,000 from $475,000, takes effect today.

BCREA appreciates this government’s attention to the needs of first-time homebuyers. To keep pace with the dynamic real estate market and ensure that homebuyers aren’t left behind, the Association strongly believes that this threshold—and all others related to the Property Transfer Tax—should be indexed, with adjustments made annually.

During Minister de Jong’s budget consultation in January, BCREA recommended that the first-time buyer exemption be increased to $750,000. That number would align with the exemption for newly-built homes and with the BC HOME Partnership program. This measure would have expanded consumer choices, because the First Time Home Buyers’ Program exemption applies to all homes, rather than only newly-built homes, which are often out of reach of first-time buyers.

BCREA also looks forward to learning more about the provincial government’s plans to partner with local governments to increase housing supply. Specifically, the Association supports incentives that result in faster housing and development approval processes, as well as increased density of family-oriented homes along transit corridors.

No Comments

January 2017 – Market Update

Metro Vancouver housing market off to a quieter start than last year

Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market. This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5 per cent decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 10.3 per cent below our 10-year January sales average.

“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,140 in January 2017. This represents a 6.8 per cent decrease compared to the 4,442 homes listed in January 2016 and a 215.5 per cent increase compared to December 2016 when 1,312 properties were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver is 7,238, a 9.1 per cent increase compared to January 2016 (6,635) and a 14.1 per cent increase compared to December 2016 (6,345).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2017 is 21 per cent. This is the lowest the ratio has been in the region since January 2015. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Conditions within the market vary depending on property type. The townhome and condominium markets are more active than the detached market at the moment,” Morrison said. “As a result, detached home prices declined about 7 per cent since peaking in July while townhome and condominium prices held steady over this period.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $896,000. This represents a 3.7 per cent decline over the past six months and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to December 2016.

Sales of detached properties in January 2017 reached 444, a decrease of 57.6 per cent from the 1,047 detached sales recorded in January 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,800. This represents a 6.6 per cent decline over the last six months and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to December 2016.

Sales of apartment properties reached 825 in January 2017, a decrease of 24.7 per cent compared to the 1,096 sales in January 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $512,300. This represents a 0.3 per cent increase over the last six months and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to December 2016.

Attached property sales in January 2017 totalled 254, a decrease of 32.4 per cent compared to the 376 sales in January 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $666,500. This represents a 0.4 per cent decline over the last six months and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to December 2016.