Vancouver Blog - Kimmins & Associates

Welcome to the Kimmins and Associates blog for Vancouver, BC. This blog offers a stream of valuable information from our team of Downtown Vancouver Condo Experts. It provides insight on the local real estate market, reports on MLS listings and sales and highlights neighbourhood events and amenities. We will discuss news and information that is pertinent to condo owners and potential buyers. We will also keep you up to date on things happening around town, spotlight properties and display entertaining videos.

Metro Vancouver housing market characterized by modest home sale and price increases in 2013

The Greater Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524, a 14 per cent increase from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and an 11.9 per cent decrease from the 32,390 residential sales in 2011.

“Home sales quietly improved last year compared to 2012, although the volume of activity didn’t compare to some of the record-breaking years we experienced over the last decade,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

Last year’s home sale total ranks as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years, according to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).

The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver declined 6.2 per cent in 2013 to 54,742 compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Looking back further, last year’s total represents an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 59,539 residential properties listed for sale in 2011. Last year’s listing count is on par with the 10 year average.

“It was a year of stability for the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Wyant, said. “Balanced conditions allowed home prices in the region to remain steady, with just a modest increase over the last 12 months.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $603,400. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase compared to December 2012.

December summary

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,953 in December 2013, an increase of 71 per cent from the 1,142 sales recorded in December 2012 and a 15.9 per cent decline compared to November 2013 when 2,321 home sales occurred.

December sales were 8.1 per cent above the 10-year December sales average of 1,807.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,856 in December 2013. This represents a 34.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,380 units listed in December 2012 and a 42.8 per cent decline compared to November 2013 when 3,245 properties were listed.

Sales of detached properties in December 2013 reached 762, an increase of 79.3 per cent from the 425 detached sales recorded in December 2012, and a 21 per cent increase from the 630 units sold in December 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 2.5 per cent from December 2012 to $927,000.

Sales of apartment properties reached 850 in December 2013, an increase of 68.7 per cent compared to the 504 sales in December 2012, and an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to the 774 sales in December 2011.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.8 per cent from December 2012 to $367,800.

Attached property sales in December 2013 totalled 341, an increase of 60.1 per cent compared to the 213 sales in December 2012, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 254 attached properties sold in December 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 1.2 per cent between December 2012 and 2013 to $456,100.

Download the complete stats package by clicking here. 

Posted in Vancouver Market Update | Tagged ,

July home sale activity increases in Greater Vancouver

Sunny weather did not slow the pace of home sale activity in July. Last month was the highest selling month of the year in Greater Vancouver and the highest selling July since 2009.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,946 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July 2013. This represents a 40.4 per cent increase compared to the 2,098 sales recorded in July 2012, and an 11.5 per cent increase compared to the 2,642 sales in June 2013.

Last month’s sales were 0.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

Kimmins-July2013-graphs

“Demand has strengthened in our market in the last few months, which can, in part, be attributed to pent-up demand from the slowdown in sales activity we saw at the end of last year,”

Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,854 in July. This represents a 1.1 per cent increase compared to the 4,802 new listings reported in July 2012 and a 0.4 per cent decline from the 4,874 new listings in June of this year.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,618, which is an 8.1 per cent decrease compared to July 2012 and a 3.9 per cent decline from June 2013.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio rose two and-a-half percentage points between June and July to 17.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the highest this ratio has been in Greater Vancouver since April 2012.

Kimmins-July2013-graphs2

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $601,900. This represents a decline of 2.3 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 2.3 per cent over the last six months.

“Home prices continue to experience considerable stability with minimal fluctuation throughout much of this year,”

Wyant said.

“This stability in price brings greater certainty to the home buying and selling process.”

Sales of detached properties reached 1,249 in July 2013, an increase of 59 per cent from the 787 detached sales recorded in July 2012, and a 13.7 per cent increase from the 1,099 units sold in July 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 3.1 per cent from July 2012 to $920,500.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,210 in July 2013, an increase of 31 per cent compared to the 927 sales in July 2012, and an increase of 16.3 per cent compared to the 1,040 sales in July 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 1.6 per cent from July 2012 to $368,300.

Attached property sales in July 2013 totalled 487, an increase of 27 per cent compared to the 384 sales in July 2012, and a 12.7 per cent increase from the 432 attached properties sold in July 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 2.6 per cent between July 2012 and 2013 to $456,700.

 

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Balanced conditions provide a stable backdrop for today’s home buyers and sellers

The Greater Vancouver housing market continues to maintain a relative balance between the number of homes for sale and the number of people looking to purchase a home in the region today.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,642 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2013. This represents an 11.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,362 sales recorded in June 2012, and an 8.3 per cent decline compared to the 2,882 sales in May 2013.

REBGV Residential Average Price Sales through June 2013

REBGV Residential Average Price Sales through June 2013

Last month’s sales were 22.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month, while new listings for the month were 11.5 percent below the 10-year average.

“As the term suggests, a balanced market means that many of the key housing market indicators, such as price, are stable and conditions therefore don’t tilt in favour of buyers or sellers,”

Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

“If you plan to enter the market today, identify your needs, consult your REALTOR® and work to build a ‘win-win’ scenario with the people on the other side of the sale.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,874 in June. This represents a 13.2 per cent decline compared to the 5,617 new listings reported in June 2012 and a 13.8 per cent decline from the 5,656 new listings in May of this year.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 17,289, a 6 per cent decrease compared to June 2012 and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to May 2013.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the fourth straight month that this ratio has been at or above 15 per cent.

Home Price Index - Greater Vancouver 5-Year Trend

Home Price Index – Greater Vancouver 5-Year Trend

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $601,900. This represents a decline of three per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to January 2013.

Sales of detached properties reached 1,102 in June 2013, an increase of 19.7 per cent from the 921 detached sales recorded in June 2012, and a 25.1 per cent decrease from the 1,471 units sold in June 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 4.3 per cent from June 2012 to $919,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,068 in June 2013, an increase of 4.1 per cent compared to the 1,026 sales in June 2012, and a decrease of 15.6 per cent compared to the 1,266 sales in June 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 1.9 per cent from June 2012 to $369,100.

Attached property sales in June 2013 totalled 472, an increase of 13.7 per cent compared to the 415 sales in June 2012, and a 10.1 per cent decrease from the 525 attached properties sold in June 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 2.4 per cent between June 2012 and 2013 to $457,000.

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May 2013 Real Estate Stats: Spring months bring balance to Greater Vancouver housing market

While the number of home sales in Greater Vancouver continued to trend below the 10-year average in May, the balance of sales and listings meant continued market stability this spring.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,882 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2013. This represents a one per cent increase compared to the 2,853 sales recorded in May 2012, and a 9.7 per cent increase compared to the 2,627 sales in April 2013.

REBGV May 2013 Sales Graph

REBGV Residential Average Sales Prices through May 2013

Last month’s sales were 19.4 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month, while new listings for the month were 7.4 percent below the 10-year average.

“We’ve seen some steadying trends over the last three months,”

Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

“The number of homes listed for sale has been keeping pace with the number of property sales, leading to a balanced sales-to-listings ratio. This is having a stabilizing influence on home price activity.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,656 in May. This represents an 18.3 per cent decline compared to the 6,927 new listings reported in May 2012 and a 3.7 per cent decline from the 5,876 new listings in April of this year.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 17,222, a 3.4 per cent decrease compared to May 2012 and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to April 2013.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 17 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the third straight month that this ratio has been above 15 per cent. Previous to this, May 2012 was the last time this ratio was above 15 per cent.

REBGV May 2013 Home Price Index - 5 Year Trend

REBGV May 2013 Home Price Index – 5 Year Trend

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $598,400. This represents a decline of 4.3 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to January 2013.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,136 in May 2013, a decline of 1.7 per cent compared to the 1,156 sales in May 2012, and a decrease of 7.5 per cent compared to the 1,228 sales in May 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 3.7 per cent from May 2012 to $365,600.

Attached property sales in May 2013 totalled 534, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared to the 517 sales in May 2012, and a 7.8 per cent decrease from the 579 attached properties sold in May 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 3.2 per cent between May 2012 and 2013 to $454,900.

Posted in Vancouver Market Update

Spring delivers greater balance to Greater Vancouver housing market

A closer relationship between home buyer demand and the supply of homes for sale has been having a stabilizing impact on home prices in the Greater Vancouver housing market over the last three months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,627 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2013. This represents a 6.1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,799 sales recorded in April 2012, and an 11.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,347 sales in March 2013.

Last month’s sales equate to the lowest April total in the region since 2001 and 20.9 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While the number of home sales remains below average, properties that are priced right are selling and we’re seeing greater balance between buyer demand and the number of homes listed for sale. This is having a steadying influence on home prices in the region,”

says Sandra Wyant, REBGV president.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,876 in April. This represents a three per cent decline compared to the 6,056 new listings reported in April 2012 and a 21.4 per cent increase from the 4,839 new listings in March of this year. Last month’s new listing count was 0.4 per cent above the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,730, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to April 2012 and an 8.2 per cent increase compared to March 2013.

Kimmins-Apr2013-salesgraph

Vancouver Residential Average Sale Prices through April 2013

 

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the second consecutive month that this ratio has been above 15 per cent. Previous to this, May 2012 was the last time this ratio was above 15 per cent.

“There have been modest increases in home prices across the region over the last three months. This comes on the heels of home price declines of approximately five to six per cent in Greater Vancouver during the last half of 2012,”

Wyant said.

Kimmins-Apr2013-hpigraph

Home Price Index: Greater Vancouver Five Year Trend through April 2013

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently  $597,300. This represents a decline of 3.9 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to January 2013.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,052 in April 2013, a decline of 11.6 per cent compared to the 1,190 sales in April 2012, and a decrease of 12.4 per cent compared to the 1,201 sales in April 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 2.6 per cent from April 2012 to $365,900. Since January the benchmark price of an apartment home has increased 2.1 per cent.

Attached property sales in April 2013 totaled 511, an increase of 5.8 per cent compared to the 483 sales in April 2012, and a 17.8 per cent decrease from the 622 attached properties sold in April 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 3.5 per cent between April 2012 and 2013 to $455,200. Since January the benchmark price of an attached home has increased 1.2 per cent.

Sales of detached properties reached 1,064 in April 2013, a decrease of 5.5 per cent from the 1,126 detached sales recorded in April 2012, and a 24.1 per cent decrease from the 1,402 units sold in April 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 5.2 per cent from April 2012 to $914,000. Since January the benchmark price of a detached home has increased 1.4 per cent.

Posted in Vancouver Market Update

Vancouver home sale activity improves but remains below historical averages

Lower levels of both supply and demand in recent months are holding home prices in check in the Greater Vancouver housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,347 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2013. This represents an 18.3 per cent decrease compared to the 2,874 sales recorded in March 2012, and a 30.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,797 sales in February 2013. Last month’s sales were the second lowest March total in the region since 2001 and 30.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While home sales were below what’s typical for March, we are seeing more balance between the number of sales and listings on the market in the last two months, which is having a stabilizing impact on home prices,”

Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.2 per cent in Greater Vancouver, a three per cent increase from last month. This is the first time this ratio has been above 15 per cent since May 2012. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totaled 4,839 in March. This represents a 17.2 per cent decline compared to the 5,843 new listings reported in March 2012 and a 0.1 per cent increase from the 4,833 new listings in February of this year.

Last month’s new listing count was 14.4 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month. The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 15,460, a 1.5 per cent increase compared to March 2012 and a 4.5 per cent increase compared to February  2013.

Home Price Index through March 2013

Home Price Index - Greater Vancouver 5 Year Trend - through March 2013

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $593,100. This represents a decline of 3.9 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 0.9 per cent compared to January 2013. Continue reading

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Canadian real estate market influenced by mortgage legislation

Excerpts from a recent Vancouver Sun article “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty under fire for quashing Manulife’s low mortgage rate”

After posting a promotional five-year closed mortgage rate of 2.89% to appeal to real estate consumers amid a cooling housing market, Manulife Bank subsequently withdrew the rate after conferring with the federal government.

“After consulting with the Department of Finance, Manulife Bank has withdrawn the promotional campaign and reverted to our previous posted rate,” of 3.09%, Graeme Harris, a spokesman for Manulife, said.

The Finance Minister said he’s encouraging the nation’s lenders to have prudent lending practices.

Mr. Flaherty has indicated he wants to avoid a crash and has brought in new restrictions — including limiting amortization lengths to 25 years today from as high as 40 years during the housing boom — to cool the market and ensure a soft landing.

Since the government tightened mortgage rates in July, Canada’s housing market has slowed considerably in terms of sales, starts and even prices. Two weeks ago, the Bank of Canada signalled it was no longer as concerned about Canadian debt levels, saying it does not expect the situation to worse appreciably from its current high levels.

Slowing home sales and credit, however, has intensified competition among financial institutions and banks for a dwindling slice of the mortgage market, a relatively safe and lucrative sector of the industry.

While the first three attempts did little to slow down the housing and credit growth, the last move in July seemed to accomplish the trick. The market has been on a steady downward slide ever since, with analysts predicted prices may fall between 10 per cent and 25 per cent over the next few years.

After years of growth, economists say the real estate boom is over and predict that Canadian housing prices will flatline over the next decade.

Read more here.

MY VIEW:

The take-away for potential sellers who are thinking they’ll wait until the market recovers and prices go back up is as follows: The Canadian real estate market is not an entirely free market moving in response to market forces. The federal government has enacted mortgage legislation that has had its desired effect – to cool the real estate market – and is now literally calling mortgage lenders on the phone in order to “encourage them” not to keep lower lending rates despite the fact they have demonstrated a desire to do so.

While I don’t fault the government for doing what I assume they believe is the right thing for the Canadian economy and its real estate market – prevent overheating and a subsequent crash – I do believe owners of Canadian real estate who are waiting for a recovery in price and volume should be aware that in addition to whatever natural market forces may be influencing real estate values, the federal government has, and I assume will continue to, enact legislation that’s specifically designed to moderate these values.

My point? Sellers waiting for the recovery could be waiting a very long time and need to analyze the other factors that might effect the value of their investment. In the case of non-resident owners, there’s the issue of the exchange rate. Many experts believe that the $CAD will settle back to the 85 cent to 90 cent level as the US economy continues to recover. For US sellers repatriating $USD this could potentially erase any gains made in price/value that might take place.

The “worst case” for non-resident US sellers might look like this:

A long wait involving significant holding costs, no price recovery or worse yet a further drop in prices, accompanied by a lower CAD/USD exchange rate. Not good.

If you’re thinking of selling your Vancouver condo and would like to discuss these ideas further, please don’t hesitate to contact Shaun.

Posted in Vancouver Market Update

How the sales tax transition will affect BC real estate transactions

Reminder of British Columbia’s sales tax (HST/GST) transition

A friendly reminder that as of April 1, 2013 British  Columbia’s 12% HST (sales tax) will revert back to a 5% GST / 7% PST (sales tax) system. This is potentially good news for sellers who’s real estate sales “complete” or “close” April 1st or later.  All real estate commissions payable April 1st or later will be subject to 5% sales tax (GST) vs. 12% sales tax (HST).

COMMISSION AND FEES
If a commission or fee is payable before April 1, 2013 it is subject to the 12% HST.
If a commission or fee is payable on or after April 1, 2013 then it is subject to the 5% GST.

WHEN DOES A COMMISSION BECOME PAYABLE?
The standard Multiple Listing Contract provides that commission is payable
on the earlier of the following:
• completion date under the Contract of Purchase and Sale; or
• the actual date that the sales completes.

Posted in Vancouver Market Update | Tagged , ,

Most beautiful time-lapse video of Vancouver

This incredible time lapse video was recently created by Joel Schat.

‘The Heart of Vancity’ is a portrait of downtown Vancouver.

Artist statement:

I am always inspired by the city lights at night and tried to find new ways to show off the city’s beauty. This entire film was shot during the winter months which made it very difficult to shoot because of all the rain! I am hoping to explore more of this fantastic city in the future as there are many locations left that I would love to shoot!

Posted in Vancouver Neighbourhood Highlights | Tagged , ,

Vancouver’s real estate market suffering from uncertainty

The new norm: buyers want padding in their purchase price

Nobody knows what’s going to happen to prices in Vancouver’s real estate market. I hear and read dire predictions ranging anywhere from 20 to 50% declines in real estate values. I’ve even heard a recent prediction of 2% annual growth over the next 10 years. One thing is certain: sales volume is at a 10 year low pretty much everywhere, more in some areas. This lack of volume doesn’t seem to support much of the current pricing. Any economist will tell you that if volume remains low enough for long enough prices will follow.

The Board recently published an average decline in value (for all properties) of 5.6%. Report here. They quote an average decline in condo properties of 5.1%. These are averages and do not tell the whole story. Coal Harbour is probably down closer to 10% and I’ve seen one or two luxury condo sales 20% below identical comparables of 2 years earlier. I’ve been told by some sellers that buyers are only 1/2 of the market and that they alone don’t determine pricing. That may be technically true but in midst of the strongest buyers’ market of the past decade, current buyers appear to disagree. Continue reading

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