The waiting game has begun in Greater Vancouver real estate.
Who’s going to hold out longer? Buyers? They didn’t buy much in June, sending home sales to their lowest level since 2000. Sellers? The ones already in the market are not desperate enough to lower their asking prices en masse. And those not already listed seem to have decided to sit it out for a while, as a significant drop in new listings will attest.
Sales down. Prices flat. New listings down.
That’s what the June statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver tell us about MLS® listed homes.
Sales and Listings
“Today, our sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 13 per cent, which puts us in the lower end of a balanced market,” says Board President Eugen Klein. Some groups say a buyer’s market is anything below 15 per cent, but let’s not quibble. Buyers are wearing the pants right now, no matter which way you look at it.
Compared to May, June sales were down pretty much everywhere, in every housing type. North Vancouver and West Vancouver fared worst, with 25 – 68 per cent sales drops in all three categories, but then listings there were down substantially too. Port Moody sales dropped in all housing categories as well, while listings were up slightly for detached homes and condos. In Vancouver West and Vancouver East, new listings dropped by a greater percentage than sales — in fact apartment sales actually increased in Van East by 23.6 per cent.
Some other sales increases since May: New Westminster detached, +19.4 per cent; Port Coquitlam townhouses, +23.8 per cent; Richmond apartments, +21.5 per cent; Sunshine Coast detached, +35.6 per cent, townhouses, +50 per cent; Squamish detached, +64.7 per cent, Whistler apartments, +16.7 per cent.
|June 2012/May 2012||June 2012/June 2011|
Benchmark Price (MLS® Home Price Index)
In a recent interview with REW.ca, Cameron Muir of the BC Real Estate Association said that prices are sticky on the way down. Sellers don’t want to be the first to lower their price.
Average prices for detached homes in Greater Vancouver have been dropping since February, when they hit a high of $1,225,893. They’re now at $1,061,067, largely because of a drop in luxury home sales. Average price for townhouses is $566,310, and for apartments, $433,841.
Meanwhile the more reliable benchmark prices are finally beginning to reflect the changing conditions, creeping down ever so slightly.
Vancouver West had the biggest benchmark-price drop from May to June: -2.1 per cent, but only half the areas in the REBGV saw declines.
The overall benchmark price rose or stayed flat from May through June in Burnaby North and South, New Westminster, Port Moody, Vancouver East, Tsawwassen, Sunshine Coast, Squamish and Whistler.
|June 2012||May 2012||June 2011|
Now that we’re in July, the usual summer real estate slump is expected, but it looks like it began a little early this year.
You can watch the video below.