Category Archives: data

Lowest September sales in 15 years

The official numbers aren’t in yet, but unless we had a gigantic number of sales that still need to be entered for the last day of the month it’s starting to look a lot like 2008.

..Actually worse than that.  According to Inventory we’re on track to have the lowest number of September sales in the last 15 years:

Sept unit sales Greater Vancouver (does not include Fraser Valley)
1994 = 2241
1995 = 1951
1996 = 2217
1997 = 2050
1998 = 1755
1999 = 1955
2000 = 1761
2001 = 2241
2002 = 2555
2003 = 3468
2004 = 3006
2005 = 3505
2006 = 2583
2007 = 2852
2008 = 1620
2009 = 3632
2010 = 2254
2011 = 2299
2012 = 1472 ***Sept 27

A few more hours to go, looks like Sept will make a record month for the lowest sales since 1995.

If Inventory is reading this, maybe they could update us on the final number in the comments.


Less than a hundred reasons RE is collapsing

There are 3 sales day left in September 2012.

That’s 3 more chances to have a day when we see sales over 100.

Do you know how many days we’ve seen sales go over 100 so far this month?


There has only been one day this month where sales went over 100.

Here’s the last couple of Septembers for historical comparison:

2010: 11 days with triple digit sales

2011: 14 days with triple digit sales

2012: 1 day of triple digit sales (max possible 4)

Thanks to VHB for the stats and PaulB for the numbers.

Second worst August since 1998

The REBGV has released their Vancouver stats package for August 2012 and it’s a bit of a downer for the true believer.

Sales down, prices down, lots of use of the term ‘buyers market’.

In fact the home sales plunge just made last month the second worst August since 1998.

The group’s composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is $609,500 which is down 0.5% from a year ago and 1.1% from July.

Supply seems to be slowing with new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties 4,044 in August for a 13.7% decline from a year ago. New listings were down 15.8% from July.

At 17,567, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS was up 13.8% from a year ago but down 2.8% from last month.

Courtesy of Good Format, here’s the month drops and what that number looks like annualized:

            MLS® Home Price Index  

           July 2012     Aug 2012   Chg(%)  Annualized(%)
Detached     950,200     942,100     0.86       10.32
Attached     468,700     462,300     1.38       16.61
Apartment    374,300     370,100     1.13       13.61

Scubasteve shares some of the worst hit areas for prices:

-3.7% = Richmond
-3.7% = Vancouver West
-1.3% = Maple Ridge

-8.0% = Burnaby South
-7.9% = Port Coquitlam
-6.4% = Burnaby East

-8.8% = Tsawwassen
-8.3% = Burnaby North
-4.5% = Maple Ridge

And the worst areas for sales:

1) West Vancouver (-65.6%)
Aug/12 = 34 sales
Aug/11 = 96 sales

2) Burnaby (-47.5%)
Aug/12 = 174 sales
Aug/11 = 331 sales

3) Coquitlam (-41.6%)
Aug/12 = 122 sales
Aug/11 = 209 sales

4) Richmond (-31.2%)
Aug/12 = 179 sales
Aug/11 = 260 sales

5) Vancouver West (-31.0%)
Aug/12 = 362 sales
Aug/11 = 524 sales

6) Vancouver East (-29.6%)
Aug/12 = 169 sales
Aug/11 = 240 sales

7) North Vancouver (-29.0%)
Aug/12 = 113 sales
Aug/11 = 159 sales

Read his full comment here.

If we don’t see a flood of listings in the Fall then that will help to let some of the downward pressure off the market, but there isn’t much looking up in the outlook.  We’re now a couple of months into the new mortgage rules that have taken out some first time buyers and put pressure on $1 million houses.

With housing affordability in Vancouver at a record low it’s only going to get trickier to find a buyer unless we get a new flood of credit or higher paying jobs.


Market moves for August 2012

Another month has come and gone.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) should release their market update for August any day now, buy in the interim we have the always entertaining GVREB and their news release.

The GVREB uses factual statistics, numbers and market data in their press releases just like the REBGV, but I think you’ll find the spin is a little different

Motivated Sellers Move Prices Downward in Extended Weak Market.


VANCOUVER, B.C. –September 4, 2012 – The extended weakness of the Greater Vancouver Property market has forced many motivated sellers to reduce prices significantly from their spring listing prices in order to sell their property. Sales volumes continued to languish at near record lows and daily sales volumes continue to decrease. Counteracting the low sales is the impact that market weakness has discouraged new sellers from listing their properties. This reduction in the pace of new listings has resulted in an overall decrease in the number of active listings compared to the number at the end of June 2012. Daily sales volumes continued to deteriorate first to 82 units per day in the first half of the month then to 71 units per day in the last half of the month. The lack of buyers has resulted in sellers taking significant discounts in order to complete their sale transaction and the majority of sales are now at prices below their July 2011 property tax assessed values.

GVREB reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,649 in August 2012. This total represents a 31 per cent decrease compared to the 2,378 sales in August 2011. August 2012 had the lowest average sales per market day for any August in the past 12 years at 76 sales per day compared to 78 sales per day in 2008, which was the most recent low.

August 2012 saw an increase in the sale of ultra-luxury properties as the summer travel season brought more foreign buyers than the previous few months. There were 3 sales in Greater Vancouver over $10 million during August 2012 and a large increase in properties over $5 million compared to the most recent months. The fact that these sales occurred in a month with very slow sales had a disproportionate effect of increasing the average price for the month with over $50,000 of the increase in the average selling price of detached properties coming from the 3 largest sales. The large increase in the average selling price compared to July 2012 should not be interpreted as a sign that the market is strengthening. Experienced local real estate professionals have noted that it is more important to focus on the high inventory levels and low sales volumes and the resulting inflated Months of Inventory (MOI) ratios than the average price which can be disproportionately affected by a small number of sales of very high value properties.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,988 in August 2012. This is slightly below the average listing rate for the past 12 years however the sales to new listing ratio of 41.8% was the second lowest of the past 12 years. Continued market weakness has resulted in a slowdown in new listings. However, experienced market players have noted that “sellers waiting for better selling conditions are not expected to see the current price levels for the foreseeable future and waiting to list their property should not be a strategy to obtain a higher selling price. Sellers must reduce their price expectations if they wish to complete their sale before the end of 2012.”

Active listings at the end of August 2012 were 17,652, down 3 per cent from July 2012. However, total MOI continued to increase for the sixth straight month and was 10.5 at the end of the month. MOI for detached increased to 12.5 months at August 2012 from 10.1 months at the end of July 2012. Attached and apartment inventory increased significantly to 9.3 months from 7.7 months. At these levels, there are significant downward pressures on selling prices and very few buyers are available for the number of active listings. MOI increased in nearly every sub-market during August 2012 from July 2012 with West Vancouver detached increasing from 12 to 21 months and Burnaby increasing to 15 from 11 months. Without a significant withdrawal of listings by current sellers in Greater Vancouver, these ratios are forecasted to deteriorate further during September.

The Residential Reference Price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased only marginally to $614,000 in August 2012 from $612,600 in August 2011. We believe that in September, the annual price comparison will show the first annual decreases in this index since 2009.

Sales of detached properties in August slowed to 625 units, a decrease of 39 per cent from the 1,020 detached sales recorded in August 2011, and a 30 per cent decrease from the 893 units sold in August 2010. August 2012 was the second lowest sales volume of detached in the past 12 years. The reference price for detached properties increased 1.4 per cent from August 2011 to $945,000 but fell from $949,000 in the previous month.

Sales of apartment properties fell to the lowest level in 12 years at 727 units in August 2012, a 24 per cent decrease compared to the 955 sales in August 2011, and a decrease of 22 per cent compared to the 955 sales in August 2010. The reference price of an apartment property was equal to the level at the end of August 2011 at $372,000.

Attached property sales in August 2012 totalled 298, a 26 per cent decrease compared to the 403 sales in August 2011, and a 20 per cent decrease from the 374 attached properties sold in August 2010. The reference price of an attached unit decreased 0.5 per cent from August 2011 to $464,000.

What sets house prices?

Jesse put together a nice clear presentation on our housing market.

Check it out.

His argument is that the factors that set house prices are different for the long term than they are for the short term.

If short term factors drive up supply and pull demand forward, what happens in the future to balance this out?

With housing affordability in Vancouver hitting an all time low and sales scrapping along under 100 a day It sure looks like Months of Inventory is starting to flash a big warning sign for current buyers.