It's Spring, the height of house-hunting season. Logic tells sellers to list their properties, and that's just what they're doing -- to the point that the MLS® is warning Realtors that new listings could take longer to process because of high volume. April's 6,056 new listings across Greater Vancouver were 3.6 per cent higher than last April and 6.7 per cent above the 10-year average for April, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. (For the sake of curiosity, new listings in April 2008 -- the beginning of the last big correction in the Greater Vancouver real estate market -- jumped to 7,010. That was a 25.6 per cent increase over April 2007 and 24 per cent above the current 10-year average. No comparison.) Meanwhile, sales declined last month. At 2,799, Greater Vancouver home sales hit an 11-year low, dropping to 16.9 per cent below the 10-year average for April. (Again, for comparison, April 2008 saw 3,218 sales, which was 4.5 per cent below the current 10-year April average. So back in 2008, while listings took a sudden jump, home sales were still fairly brisk.) Comparing February-through-April home sales to the same period last year, detached homes were down 25.9 per cent, attached homes were down 20.6 per cent and apartments were down 15.6 per cent. The biggest drops in home sales of all types were seen in three of the four most expensive areas in Greater Vancouver: Richmond, Vancouver West and West Vancouver. (North Vancouver, the third most expensive area saw smaller declines.) Burnaby and Delta also experienced substantial drops in sales. Even Vancouver East -- the hot area according to word on the street -- saw 26.3 per cent fewer detached home sales over the last three months compared to the same period last year. There must be some hot pockets there. We keep hearing stories of bidding wars. But overall, the detached house market is cooling there too, while apartment sales actually increased by 3.2 per cent. For details check the Listing & Sales Activity Summary of REBGV's latest report. The sales-to-active-listings ratio is still in balanced territory at 17 per cent, says REBGV president Eugen Klein. What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance Apr 2012/Mar 2012 Apr 2012/Apr 2011 Overall Sales -2.6% -13.2% - Detached -5.2% -19.7% - Townhome -3.4% -22.3% - Apartment -0.1% -0.9% New Listings +3.6% +3.6% Current Listings +8.5% +16% Benchmark Price (MLS® Home Price Index) Despite slow sales and higher inventory, the benchmark prices for homes continued creeping upwards in April. The overall benchmark price for all housing types in Greater Vancouver rose by 0.7 per cent over March, and 3.7 per cent over April 2011.
Blog › May 2012
Local homes sales are in a balanced state despite the lowest April sales numbers since 2001, according to a report by the Real Estate Board of Metro Vancouver.
“Although April sales were below what’s typical for the month, we continue to see, with a sales-to-active listing ratio of nearly 17 per cent, a balanced relationship between buyer demand and seller supply in our marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said in a statement.
“Recent activity has had a stabilizing effect on home prices at the regional level, although pricing can vary depending on area and property type.”
According to the monthly report, homes sales and listings have maintained a consistent pace in recent months, contributing to the balanced conditions.
However, the report noted that Metro Vancouver sales totalled 2,799 in April 2012, a 13.2-per-cent decline compared to the 3,225 sales in April 2011 and a decline of 2.6 per cent compared to the 2,874 sales in March 2012.
April sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 16.9 per cent below the 10-year April sales average of 3,369, the board said in a release.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties totalled 6,056 in April, a 3.6-per-cent increase compared to both March 2012 when 5,843 homes were listed and April 2011 when 5,847 homes were listed for sale.
Last month’s new listing total was 6.7 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for April, the release said.
At 16,538, the total number of homes listed for sale increased 8.5 per cent in April compared to last month and 16 per cent above this time last year.
The benchmark price for all residential properties stood at $683,800, up 3.7 per cent compared to April 2011 and an increase of 2.8 per cent over the last three months.
Sales of detached properties in April 2012 reached 1,126, a decline of 19.7 per cent from the 1,402 detached sales recorded in April 2011, although the benchmark price for detached properties increased 6.3 per cent from April 2011 to $1,064,800.
The highest benchmark price in April for a detached home was Vancouver West at $2.27 million, followed by West Vancouver at $1.98 million.
The benchmark price of an apartment increased 1.1 per cent from April 2011 to $375,900, while the price of a townhome increased 1.7 per cent between April 2011 and 2012 to $487,300.
Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley's housing market also showed a drop in sales year-over-year, although not as sharp as in Metro Vancouver.
According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, there were 1,435 sales processed in April, down five per cent from April 2011, but up slightly from 1,412 sales in March.
In April, the board added seven per cent more new listings compared to one year ago, up to 3,134 from 2,918 last year. That pushed the number of properties for sale to 10,312, the highest level since July 2010.
“To put it in perspective, in the last decade, April 2012 ranked second lowest for sales during that month, while new listings came in at the third highest, meaning it’s a good time to be shopping for a home in the Fraser Valley because selection has only been this extensive twice,” said board president Scott Olson in a statement.
According to the report, the benchmark price for a detached home in the Fraser Valley rose 5.3 per cent in the year, from $547,800 in April 2011 to $576,600 last month.
In April, the price of a townhouse was $318,400, up 1.9 per cent year-over-year, while the price of an apartment increased 0.8 per cent over the same period to $205,800.
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