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Market Update

May 2011

With the cherry blossoms in full bloom, we enter into what could be a surprising May in the Vancouver real estate market. Typically a peak time for sales activity, the April market stats show sales activity dropping in virtually all categories (excluding North Vancouver Detached). Will May continue this trend? If so, and I suspect it will, it appears the 'summer slowdown' that we typically see towards the middle of June has started early this year. There are a few possible explanations for this, but the biggest factor in my mind is the surge in activity we saw in February and March due to buyers rushing to purchase to beat the new mortgage rules that came into effect March 18, 2011. That surge effectively started the Spring market earlier than expected this year, so perhaps it is only natural that the activity tails off sooner as well.

Two other trends to take note of from last month:

(1) Listing inventory climbed, up as much as 23%, in all markets. The number of new listings was not dramatically higher the months previous, but as sales activity slows, the active inventory grows.

(2) Sales prices climbed in all markets, with the exception of downtown (which dipped almost 9%). The red hot Westside detached market led the charge here with a 9.5% increase over last month, while most other markets showed much more marginal increases.

Look for prices to flatten out over the summer, while activity slows slightly but remains stable. All in all, if we ignore the Westside detached category, we are enjoying a pleasantly balanced market. And, with any luck, by the time I sit down to write next month's newsletter, the Canucks will be Stanley Cup champions!

Cheers,

Ben

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MARKET STATISTICS

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310 2528 MAPLE St

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Market Update

April 2011

Spring is here! Or maybe it's not... Depends on the day, but when the sun it out, it sure feels like it is close! Hopefully you are dusting off the patio furniture and planning some long weekend getaways as the calendar hits April.

March was an interesting month in the Vancouver market, as we saw changes in mortgage rules mid-month that reduced the maximum mortgage amortization period from 35 years to 30 years and requires investors to put a minimum of 20% down on purchases. These changes created a big push early in the month to get deals done before the new rules took effect and caused things to slow down towards the end of March. It will be interesting to see if things pick right back up in April, as it is typically a busy buying season, or market activity remains relatively flat.

Compared to February, March continued to show increases in new listings and sales activity across the board. Sale prices also creeped upwards in most areas, with the exception of the inflated Vancouver Westside detached market and the slightly cooling North Van detached market. I suspect both areas will level off this month after the correction.

At this point, it appears that the relatively stable market that we have enjoyed all year will continue into the Summer.

Ben

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4273 W 10TH Ave

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Market Update

With Spring just around the corner (thank goodness!), we are entering into what is typically the busiest season of the Vancouver real estate market. As the sun comes out, so too it seems do the buyers and sellers. Often in droves. And I have little reason to believe that this year will be much different.

February saw the continuation of the trends we saw in January, with active listings and sales volume climbing across the board. Vancouver West led the sales charge with a 60% increase in attached sales and a 69% increase in detached sales compared with the January numbers. Only the North Vancouver attached market showed a decline in sales, with a drop of almost 28%. A little surprising given the rest of the market data, but we will monitor this trend through March to see if it was just an aberration.

Average sales price for both attached and detached homes in Vancouver East slipped slightly in February, while Vancouver West attached homes dropped almost 13%. Vancouver West detached prices saw a slight increase last month. Downtown prices climbed almost 8%, while North Van showed slight price increases in both categories.

We still haven't seen the influx of inventory we have been expecting, but let's see what March brings. I suspect that many of the people who have been talking about listing their homes for sale will take action this month. And for buyers, now that all the major banks have announced that conventional mortgages will be subject to the 30 maximum amortization period as well as the unconventional mortgages as of March 17, 2011. If you need that 35 year mortgage, don't forget that you'll need a firm contract before the 17th!

I look forward to your questions and comments,

Ben

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Taking a look at last months market stats in the real estate market for the Westside of Vancouver shows us a fairly typical summer season. Both the attached (condo and townhome) market and detached home market showed slower sales volume and a reduced number of new listings hitting the market. With the fabulous weather we had this summer, it comes as no surprise that things slowed down. We also saw slight increases in prices, as a decreased inventory left active buyers with fewer choices.

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Look for more activity in the traditionally busy Fall market with prices remaining relatively stable in the coming months. Inventory should be on the rise as well, offering more options for those looking to buy.

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Let's take a look at the Vancouver Real Estate market trends as we head into the busy fall season.

Starting with Vancouver East condos and townhomes, we can see that August produced the expected declines both in the number of sales and the number of new listings. August is historically a slower month in Vancouver and with the fabulous weather we had, this year was no exception. You will notice that prices climbed slightly, which is mostly due to the lack of inventory for those buyers who were active in the market.

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Switching over to the detached homes market, we see almost identical trends. Lower numbers of sales and new listings with a level price point.

Ben_Van-East_Detached.jpg

Where does that leave us for September? Look for inventory to increase, along with sale volumes, while prices remain fairly stable. The Fall is typically a more active market in Vancouver real estate it all indications points to towards another busy season this year.

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