It's a good thing the weather was warm this past September, as the Vancouver real estate market was definitely cooler than expected with an 8.1% drop in home sales compared to August and 32.5% decline compared to September 2011. In spite of this, buyer presence remains very strong with many waiting in the wings to dive back in when they find the right fit. As more stability sets in to the market place, I anticipate we will see an increase in sales volume heading into the Fall season. A few other statistical notes include a sales-to-active listings ratio of 8%, which plants us firmly in a Buyer's market, and a decline in benchmark pricing of 0.8% compared to last year and 2.3% over the past 3 months.
Looking at individual market segments, a few more interesting trends are developing:
Attached properties saw a decline in sales of 35% compared to last year and 14% compared to August. This translated into a 6% drop in average pricing. The strongest product type here is the entry level 1 bedroom market between $300-400k with an absorption rate of 11%
Detached homes showed a 40% increase in sales over August numbers, though activity was still down 12% over last year. Average pricing is actually up 1% over last year, though they have slipped 5% compared to August. The hotspot here is the sub-$1.5m market at an 18% absorption rate, though homes in the $5-6m range are still selling at at a healthy 15% clip.
Attached property sales improved 11% over August but slipped 30% compared to last year. This was associated with an 8% drop in average pricing over last year with virtually no change since last month. The $400-500k range is fastest selling product type here which often equates to entry level 2 bedroom units.
Detached homes sales were up a whopping 42% over August numbers, but down 47% compared to last year. This makes some sense given how hot this market was this time last year, but the decline is still significant. This decline in sales has translated into a slight decline in pricing of 1.5%. The $600-700k entry level home is still a hot seller at the moment with an absorption rate over 20%.
Sales activity here has decline 22% over last year but improved almost 14% since August. Average pricing has actually increased 10.5% in the past year and up 14% since last month, driven by some higher end sales. You might be noticing a theme by now, but the hottest price point here is again the $300-400k entry level market.
Attached properties slipped 27% over the past year and 4% over the last month. Prices are down 7% compared to September 2011 though they did bounce back almost 6% from the August numbers. The sub-$300k market was the best selling segment here.
Detached home sales have increased 19% in the past month while falling almost 40% compared to last year. This has equated to an 8% decline in average sales pricing since last September. There is still a healthy amount of activity between $700k and $1.2m with the collective absorption rates equally 13%.
Moving forward, expect to see buyers and sellers start to get on the same page with the current market place, leading to increased sales activity. Prices may continue to trend downward toward the end of the year as sellers who need to sell may lower their prices to do so. Homes that are listed sharply and show well are still selling quickly. Buyers who are patient are finding some great buys.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to touch base.