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Market Update

June 2011

Well, I was hoping we would be Stanley Cup champions by the time I sat down to write this month's newsletter, but I will certainly settle for the fact that we are still in the running! In fact, I think the Canucks playoff run added some much needed positivity to the city considering the awful run of weather we had through April and May. Let's hope the beautiful sunshine we've had to start June sticks around for awhile.

Now, on to the real estate market.... As discussed last month, the trend of decreasing sales volume continued through May with declines from 5% to 40%. It does appear that the early start to this year's Spring market has resulted in an early start to the Summer slowdown as well, which we now appear to be fully entrenched in. That said, the decreasing sales volume appears to be the only trend that is consistent across all market, so this month let's take a look at the individual markets a little more closely.

The Vancouver West detached market finally showed some signs of slowing of its torrid run to start the year. Sales dropped 17.1% while prices fell 8.7%, with active inventory remaining flat. The absorption rate remains high and the market here is still strong, but I expect to see further declines in this market moving forward. In the Vancouver West attached market, sales volume dropped a more dramatic 36.7% with prices slipping 9% and inventory climbing 6.7%. The declining sales here is not entirely unpredictable given the seasonality of the market, though the degree of the decline is more than expected. I suspect we may see a mild rebound in June and July.

The detached Vancouver East market showed the most resiliency this past month with sales slipping a mere 4.8% and prices down just 1.8%. Inventory actually dropped here as well, down 4.3%. Given the current disparity in prices between East and West, I believe this market will remain strong throughout the year. The Vancouver East attached market shows more similarity to its West side counterpart, with sales down 31%. This market, however, also shows inventory dropping 7.7% and prices that have actually climbed 2.4%. I would venture to guess that we will see these prices follow the downward trend next month.

Downtown, we saw a price rebound of 4.7% this month, after a significant drop last month, in spite of sales being down over 34%. Listing inventory remained flat, with less than a 1% change, so look for this market to remain stable over the Summer.

Taking a look at North Vancouver now, we see trends similar to the East side. The detached market showed modest declines in sales (10.7%) and prices (3.6%), but also displaying a dip in inventory of 4.1%. The attached market here took the hardest hit volume wise, with a 41.6% drop in sales and 7.6% increase in listing activity, but also saw prices climb 8.7% to an average $526,753. As with the East side market, look for those prices to slip downwards over the summer as well.

Much of the activity in the market right now can be attributed to seasonal factors, as the trends do follow in line with what we would expect historically. The exact timing this year has been moved up 4-6 weeks, but the general movement and scale of things falls within the expected range. Overall, homes that are priced well are still selling quickly and Buyers are seeing a little more selection than the beginning of the year presented. Enjoy the start of the Summer and let me know if you have any questions!

Ben

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MARKET STATISTICS

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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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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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MARKET STATISTICS

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Market Update

What's Going on with the market?

Well, it's official. The holiday season is upon us. I'm not sure about you, but activity around our office seemed to screech to a halt as soon as December hit. With festive plans filling social calendars all around, 'tis the season to be distracted! I would like to take this chance to wish all of you a very merry holiday season and hope that you find some time to kick back and enjoy a well deserved break.

Taking a look at the real estate stats this month, the predominant theme is one of falling inventory. All of the attached markets (Downtown, Westside & Eastside) and detached markets (Westside and Eastside) displayed lower active listings in November with most markets showing their 3rd or 4th consecutive month of decline. At any other time of the year this statistic might be alarming, but given the traditional winter slowdown much of the declining inventory was to be expected.

November showed slightly improved sales volumes, up 7.4% in Greater Vancouver, compared to October 2010. Sales volume did remain behind last year's at 18.6% lower than November 2009. Average house prices in Greater Vancouver, according to the Housing Price Index, are up 4.1% since November last year. Breaking it down further, detached homes on the both the Westside and Eastside showed growth this month, while all of the attached markets saw prices fall. This is primarily due to the lack of inventory and huge demand present in the detached market at the moment. I suspect that both the attached and detached markets will level off to end the year.

Overall, I think it is pretty safe to say that we are enjoying the longest stretch of balance the Vancouver market has seen in years. Homes that are priced well are selling and buyers have the opportunity to explore their options before purchasing. Let's hope it lasts a little while longer! Happy holidays and make it a fabulous end to 2010,

Ben



Ben Chimes

Vancouver West - Attached Statistics

Vancouver West Attached Statistics

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Vancouver West - Detached Statistics

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Vancouver East - Attached Statistics

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Vancouver East - Detached Statistics

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Vancouver - East Detached Graph

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Vancouver Downtown Statistics

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Vancouver Downtown Graph

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