October is here, and with it comes the weather that we love to hate. I always say that there are two subjects that Vancouverites like to talk about most: the weather and real estate. It’s raining right now, so let’s get down to real estate.
Here are some of the highlights from each of the three property segments in the fourth quarter:
Actual sales prices have rebounded from the sharp corrections in Q2, as both the median and average sales prices climbed back towards first quarter levels.
The HPI Benchmark Price didn’t show the same trend that Actual sales did, as a typical Westside Benchmark Property is now estimated to sell for 5.2% less than in Q2. However, it really depends on the neighbourhood, as typical homes in Oakridge, Quilchena, South Granville and Mount Pleasant (West) saw 1.5%, 1.6%, 2.8% and 16.8% quarterly growth in their respective Benchmark Prices.
The sharpest decline occurred in Point Grey, where estimated selling prices sit 24.8% below 2011 levels. Buyers are clearly responding to this opportunity, as Point Grey led the Westside in Q3 with 33 single-family homes sold.
YTD unit sales of Detached Homes are down by 39% compared to last year. Part of the slowdown can be associated with the fact that these Homes are taking longer to sell – the median days on market has increased to 34 days, compared to just 14 in Q1.
The Westside as a whole has shifted in favour of the home buyer, as 796 new single-family home listings were added and 238 were sold. This represents a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 30%, which can indicate a Buyer’s Market. This trend is particularly strong at the higher price points – for example, homes priced by $3.75 and $4 million had a sales-to-new listings ratio of just 4%. The market is more balanced for homes priced between $1.25 and $2.25 million.
The third quarter was relatively slow for Westside Townhouse sales, with 115 units sold. That brings the year-to-date total to 421 units sold (30% below 2011 levels).
Just like the other categories, Townhouses are also selling more slowly, as Buyer’s become more patient with the market and consider their options with the current inventory. The median days on market reached 40 days in the third quarter, up from 17 in Q2.
As a whole, the sales-to-new-listings ratio was at 37% in the third quarter – this is indicative of a Buyer’s market. The strength of the Buyer’s market is more obvious in the higher price range ($1.3 million +) where new listings are greatly outpacing sales.
The most active neighbourhood in the third quarter was Kitsilano, representing 33% of all Westside townhouse sales. Correspondingly, Kitsilano’s HPI Benchmark Price of $678,400 falls within the most active price segment of $600,001 and $700,000. That price segment is very balanced with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 56%.
Condo prices remain the most stable of the 3 property types on the Westside. The median sales price has stayed within a $6,000 range so far in 2012, and the HPI Benchmark Price for the Westside as a whole is just 1.2% below 2011 levels at $465,600.
In total, 13 Westside neighbourhoods posted quarter-over-quarter gains in their estimated selling prices, ranging from just 0.1% in Dunbar to a very healthy 5.2% in Cambie. Coal Harbour posted a notable 3.5% 3-month gain to reach $648,700 for a typical condo.
Compared to Q3 of 2011, sales were down by 30% with 698 units sold. Year-to-date, the Westside has sold 2,777 units so far this year (22% less than 2011). Much of the slowdown can be associated with the increased time it is taking to sell a condo, as the median days on market reached 37 days in Q3, up from 24 in Q2.
With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 38%, the Westside as a whole is in the early stages of a Buyer’s market. However, this varies significantly by price point. The most active price segment ($300,001 – $400,000) was more balanced, with 169 condos sold and a ratio of 47%. Buyers have more options in the luxury segment as supply is beginning to greatly outweigh demand.
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