May’s real estate market sees sales up, listings down

This is a commentary on the real estate statistics for Vancouver. For those who want the details you will find the full report on our real estate blog

This month has felt like a turnaround one for us. We were extremely busy with buyers and even found ourselves competing for desirable properties – something you would not expect to be doing in a buyers market.

SALES AND LISTINGS

The sales volume has shown a significant increase this month, both over last month(18.9%) and over the same month last year (17.4%). So buyers are out there and our experience is not unusual.

While the number of sales has been going up, the number of listings has been going down. There were fewer new listings of all types of property compared to last year at this time – down by a huge 36%. Together with increased sales this has resulted in a decline in the total number of listings. We are down 4.7% on last month and 16% compared to last year.

So sales go up, listings go down. What happens to prices?

Overall prices are about 10% down on last year. There are signs that things are turning around a bit. Prices have risen by 4.5% since the beginning of the year.

MY THOUGHTS?

I mentioned we had seen competiting bids in the market. These were for homes that had something particularly attractive about them.

First time buyers are attracted by price. Low interest rates combined with reduced prices means that renters may be paying about the same to buy as to rent. Combine that with a rental suite in the property and they might even be ahead. Many of the homes we have seen sell quickly have done so in part because of their rental suites. A two bed suite in North Vancouver could, for example, bring in $1500 a month. That could be half your mortgage payment.

Sometimes it is an intangible that makes a property attractive. On the north shore this is often the view. People will compete for a house with a good view, especially where it has been renovated.

My guess for the coming months is that we will see prices steady, with continuing competition for prime properties. The summer months are often quieter for the local market and that will give persistent buyers a chance to get the right place at the right price.

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