The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver calls it a buyer’s market, but buyers were in short supply during August. Only 1,649 MLS® properties changed hands in Greater Vancouver, and that was 39.2 per cent below the 10-year average for the month.
MLS® Sales and Listings
Single-family homes were suddenly out of favour with buyers. (Could it be the prices?) For instance, only 24 single-family houses sold in West Van in August, and only 42 in Burnaby. But then, houses didn’t fare well in any of the areas that are usually pretty reliable for sales. Compared to August 2011, these areas saw drops of 30 per cent or more in single-family home sales:
- West Vancouver -70%
- Burnaby -56.25%
- Coquitlam -48.22%
- Vancouver East -46.63%
- Vancouver West -42.31%
- Richmond -36.85%
- North Van -30.14%
Condo and townhouse sales didn’t suffer the same mass decline. Only a few dropped by 30 per cent or more. In condos, Burnaby sales dropped 48.53 per cent and Richmond 32.3 per cent (West Van condo sales went down 57.15 per cent, but it was a very small sample.) In townhouses, Coquitlam sales dropped 50 per cent, North Vancouver 39.14 per cent, Vancouver East 34.79 per cent, and Burnaby 31.82 per cent.
|August 2012/July 2012||August 2012/August2011|
REBGV president Eugen Klein suggests, “For sellers it’s critical to work with your REALTOR® to understand today’s market and to develop the best strategy for selling your home. On average it’s taking two months for a home to sell on the MLS® in Vancouver today.”
But if you don’t have to sell your home right now, why would you? Sellers seem as reluctant to sell as buyers are to buy.
New listings have been falling off for the last three months — down 18.9 per cent in June, 14.5 per cent m/m in July and 15.8 per cent in August — but at 17,567, the number of active listings is still 13.8 per cent higher than last August.
Normally in September there’s a burst of listing activity to start off real estate’s second-busiest season. This year, who knows? For those homeowners brave enough to list, it’s going to be more of a slog than any time since the 2008-09 trough.
Benchmark Price (MLS® Home Price Index)
The sales-to-active-listings ratio has dropped by almost 10 per cent since March, from 19 per cent down to 9.4 per cent. Now it’s in the territory where prices are expected to slide. So whaddya know?
The MLS Home Price Index has been trending downwards now since May. It’s based on the price of a typical home within a particular neighbourhood. You can see the breakdown by property type and neighbourhood in the full REBGV August report, but this graph gives the big picture.
Realtors we’ve talked to are saying that some buyers are jumping in when they see a price reduction, while others are standing back waiting for prices to drop further. Lower offers are becoming the norm as buyers test sellers to see if they’ll lower their asking price. Well-priced properties are still selling, but properties at early-spring prices are just sitting there, bulking up the time-on-market figures.
|August 2012||July 2012||August 2011|
In other words, you’re not going to get what the folks down the street got a few months ago, so get used to it.
You can watch the video below: