Here’s a round up of last months housing market by the GVREB.
The GVREB posts a monthly market summary similar to the REBGV, but the spin is in the opposite direction.
Here’s what they say about themselves:
“GVREB is a not for profit real estate bulletin prepared by industry analysts and market participants. Comments, information and questions can be sent to the general e-mail box at email@example.com”
And here’s what they say about September 2012:
Steady and low sales volumes continue through September
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON VCI
VANCOUVER, B.C. –October 3, 2012 – Sales volumes in the Greater Vancouver real estate market flattened in September 2012 yet showed typical seasonal correlations compared to August 2012. September 2012 had the lowest monthly sales volumes for the month of September in more than 20 years as the impact of the new mortgage regulations were fully reflected in market activity. Sales volumes increased compared to August 2012 with daily sales volumes increasing to 77 sales per market day in the first half of the month and then to 84 sales per market day in the second half of the month. These volumes are at seasonally historical low levels and when combined with high inventory levels, active sellers are seeing few active buyers and must price their properties accordingly in order to complete their sale.
GVREB reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties fell to 1,522 in September 2012, the lowest total for the month of September in more than 20 years. This total represents a 32 per cent decrease compared to the 2,246 sales in September 2011. Although September 2012 had the lowest monthly sales for more than two decades, it had 2 fewer market days than 2008. Adjusting for the number of sales days, September 2008 had lower sales volume than September 2012 as the number of daily sales per market day was 80 for September 2012 while September 2008 had 75.
September 2012 also brought a shift in property sales mix consistent with the changes in credit conditions. Properties typically purchased by first-time buyers have had sales volume decreases at a higher rate with apartments in all areas and homes in lower priced sub-markets slowing at a higher rate. This has had the impact of placing upward pressure on the average selling price of detached properties even while the Reference Price is decreasing. Discussions with industry experts have noted that buyers are currently financially defensive and are being cautious, making aggressive low-ball offers and waiting for sellers to reduce prices. Several properties sold for more than 20 per cent below asking prices during September 2012 while only 5 per cent sold for over the asking price. GVREB also notes that sales volumes of detached properties in historically middle-class sub-markets were the lowest in over 20 years with sales continuing to languish further in Richmond, North Vancouver and Burnaby. These 3 sub-markets had the lowest September sales volume for detached properties since the 1970’s. Low sales volumes combined with high inventory levels have increased the overall Months of Inventory (MOI) to 12. At MOI in excess of 10, there is typically a downward movement in property values.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,199 in September 2012. This is slightly above the average listing rate for the past 12 years. In addition, the sales to new listing ratio of 29.3% was the second lowest of the past 12 years. Continued market weakness has also resulted in a higher rate of listing cancellations and thus, inventory levels have failed to exceed the highs previously noted in June 2012. Based on current sales volumes, sellers who continue to list their property without a price reduction are unlikely to complete their sale before next spring.
Active listings at the end of September 2012 were 18,350, an increase of 4 per cent from August 2012. MOI continued its increase for the seventh straight month reaching an average of 12.1 for all property types. MOI for detached increased to 13.7 months at September 2012 from 12.6 months at the end of August 2012. Attached and apartment inventory increased more significantly to 11.0 months from 9.3 months. In some sub-segments the limited number of buyers has increased MOI to even higher levels with Richmond detached properties only having only a single buyer for every 52 properties listed.
The Residential Reference Price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months decreased by 0.6 per cent to $605,000 in September 2012 from $611,000 in September 2011.
Sales of detached properties in September slowed to 602 units, a decrease of 37 per cent from the 957 detached sales recorded in September 2011, and a 30 per cent decrease from the 866 units sold in September 2010. September 2012 was the second lowest sales volume of detached in the past 12 years. The reference price for detached properties fell marginally to $938,000 compared to $939,500 in September 2011.
Sales of apartment properties fell to the lowest level for the month of September in the past 2 decades to 675 units in September 2012, a 27 per cent decrease compared to the 922 sales in September 2011, and a decrease of 30 per cent compared to the 971 sales in September 2010. The reference price of an apartment property decreased marginally to $368,700 from $371,100 in September 2011.
Attached property sales in September 2012 totalled 245, a 33 per cent decrease compared to the 367 sales in September 2011, and a 36 per cent decrease from the 383 attached properties sold in September 2011. The reference price of an attached unit decreased 2.7 per cent from September 2011 to $459,000.