The Vancouver real estate market has trended below historical averages for a full year now. Last month’s sales were the second lowest February total in the region since 2001, and the figures were 30.9 per cent below the ten-year sales average for the month.
Eugen Klein, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president, confirms:
Sales in February followed recent trends and were below seasonal averages, though our members tell us they saw more traffic at open houses last month compared to the previous six to eight months.
The MLS HPI® composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver continued to fall, reaching $590,400 in February. Compared to this time last year, the benchmark price fell by 3.3 per cent, and when compared to the peak benchmark index of $625,100 that the market reached in May, there’s been a 5.6 per cent decline.
The increased number of transactions, at 1,797 in February, was up slightly from the 1,351 sales in January 2013. The ratio of sales to active listings also improved to 12.2 per cent — the first time it has been above 11 per cent since June 2012.
With a two-point increase in our sales to active listings ratio and a reduction in the average number of days it’s taking to sell a home, February showed some subtle indications of a changing sentiment in the marketplace compared to recent months,
In February, new listings for detached, attached, and apartment properties totalled 4,883 — a 13 per cent fall compared to last year’s results, when new listings amounted to 5,552 units, and a 5.8 per cent decline from the 5,128 new listings recorded in January. February’s new listings count was 4 per cent higher than the region’s ten-year new listing average for the month.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® amounted to 14,789 — a stable 5.2 per cent increase compared to the same time last year, and an 11.6 per cent decline compared to January 2013.
• Detached property sales on the MLS® (with 704 units) experienced a 36.1 per cent fall compared to February 2012 (with 1,101 units), and a massive 49.8 per cent decline compared to February 2011 (with 1,402 units). The benchmark price has fallen by 6.8 per cent since the peak benchmark recorded in May to $904,200, and it has fallen 4.5 per cent compared to last year’s benchmark price of $901,500.
• Apartment property sales (totalling 760 units) experienced a decline of 25.5 per cent compared to February 2012 (with 1,020 units) and 37 per cent compared to February 2011 (with 1,206 units). Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price for an apartment property in Greater Vancouver has declined 5.1 per cent to $358,400, and the benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 3 per cent from February last year to $360,400.
• Attached property sales (totalling 333 units) underwent a 21.5 per cent decline compared to February 2012 (with 424 units), and a 31.9 per cent decrease compared to February 2011 (with 489 units). Since reaching a peak in April, the benchmark price for an attached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 6.5 per cent, and the benchmark price of an attached unit has decreased by 0.7 per cent between February 2012 and 2013, to $455,500.
Richmond, Vancouver East, and Vancouver West Sales Stats Compared
In the second part of this month’s analysis, we’re going to focus on the situation in the Vancouver East, Vancouver West, and Richmond real estate markets.
Vancouver East sales activity for detached properties in February increased by 37.5 per cent (from 56 to 77 units). The situation was reversed in the attached properties market, with a 22.2 per cent drop (from 27 to 21 units), and improved by 17.5 per cent in the apartments sector (from 57 to 67 units) compared to last month’s data.
Vancouver West data show a new trend in detached properties, with a 25.3 per cent increase (from 83 to 104 units) compared to last month. The situation for attached properties with a 31 per cent increase (from 29 to 38 units) remains very stable, and apartments experienced a 26.5 per cent increase compared to January 2013 (from 200 to 253 units).
Richmond experienced a considerable increase in the detached properties market, with numbers jumping up by 41.3 per cent (from 63 to 89 units). We also saw a mild increase of 16.3 per cent in the attached properties market (from 43 to 50 units) and a 35.6 per cent increase in the apartments sector (from 59 to 80 units) compared to the month before.
Compared year-over-year, Vancouver’s overall sales activity dropped by 30.3 per cent in detached, 17 per cent in attached, and 24.9 per cent in apartment properties in the last quarter.
New Listings in Vancouver East, Vancouver West, and Richmond
Vancouver West experienced a 3.9 per cent decrease in the listings activity of detached houses (from 330 to 317 units) compared to last month’s decimated listings. Drops for attached properties were similar, with a 3.7 per cent fall (from 109 to 105 units), and listed apartments fell by 5.3 per cent (from 682 to 646 units).
Vancouver East recorded a 17.1 per cent increase (from 187 to 219 units) for detached properties, a 14.1 per cent raise in attached properties (from 64 to 73 units), and an 18.7 per cent fall in apartments compared to the end of last month’s results (from 193 to 157 units).
The situation on the Richmond real estate market was more radical. Apartment listings experienced an 8.4 per cent drop (from 262 to 240 units) compared to last month’s results. Listings of detached properties decreased by 31 per cent (from 355 to 245 units), and there was a 5.7 per cent drop (from 45 to 141 units) in attached properties compared to February 2012.
Overall, the Vancouver listings of detached properties decreased by 3.2 per cent, and there was a 6 per cent drop in attached properties and an 8.5 per cent drop in apartments.
Year over Year Trends in Sales
In the first part of our infographic we illustrate the total sales statistics of detached, attached and apartment properties in Vancouver and Richmond for February.
We continue with the year over year losses in total dollar value of sales of Greater Vancouver, where the loss reached 40.52 per cent for February 2013 compared to February 2011, while the loss a year ago was 12.87 per cent compared to February 2011.