After a somewhat surprising September, one that showed decreased sales rather than the typical upswing of activity, we were very curious to see what would the market would do in October. As it turns out, it completely depends on the neighbourhood. Last month's statistics show a large segmentation developing between individual markets and the 'overall picture' does not give a very clear sense of what is happening in each sub-section of the market place. Let me explain...
Starting with detached houses:
- The Vancouver East market showed a substantial drop in sales (-24.3%), a slight drop in active listings (-5.4%) and a minor slip in median pricing (-2.7%)
- The Vancouver West market displayed a healthy boost in sales activity (+16.9%), a negligible slip in inventory (-0.9%) and an increase in median pricing (+4.4%)
- The North Vancouver market noted a noticeable increase in sales (+12.7%), a small dip in listings (-6.1%) and marginal price drop (-1.9%)
In the condo/townhome markets:
- Downtown Vancouver was marked by a healthy increase in activity (+10.1%) and pricing (+3.6%), with an insignificant drop in inventory (-1.2%)
- In the Westside, median prices rose (+7.0) while both active listings (-4.0%) and sales activity (-2.6%) trended downwards
- The Eastside showed an rise in sales activity (+10.7%) and median price (+3.9%) while inventory dropped (-3.9%)
- North Vancouver experienced a huge lift in sales activity (+42.6%), thanks in part to significant price drops (-15.4%), while inventory remained flat (-0.9%)
So what can we take from all this? In general, with the obvious exception of the Eastside detached market, sales activity is up substantially. This is the trend we expected to see in September and it finally materialized. Another interesting trend is that inventory levels seem to be slipping. Not by a lot, but if that downward trend continues, it would certainly help keep prices up. And speaking of prices... there is not really a consistent trend to attach on to. Price variance is very specific to the individual market at the moment and extra care should be taken to ensure that you are really aware of what is happening directly in the market you are focused on. The broad statistics of Vancouver as a whole just don't tell an accurate story anymore.