Now that the December 2013 real estate statistics are published, it's safe to say that the Metro Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013. We can remain optimistic, there is little evidence that there will be any substantial change in the current trend of stability.
Due to the small geographic footprint of Greater Vancouver there is a movement afoot to increase density on existing properties. Barbara Yaffe in the Sun has some interesting statistics on a style of urban living known as “Vancouverism”.
We are a mature economy without the infinite number of resource based jobs and support services as are available in Alberta. Calgary is predicted to be on the fast track to more housing units and much higher prices.
The Minister of Finance thinks that long term interest rates will rise soon while the Governor of the Bank of Canada disagrees and states that they will only raise interest rates as the economic data changes and requires it. He is particularly worried about the lack of inflation and the indebtedness of the Canadian consumer (glad someone is).
The possibility of rising mortgage rates could heat up our market earlier in the year than is usual.
Summary for the Year 2013
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) informed that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524. This figure is 14 per cent higher from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and 11.9 per cent lower than 32,390 residential sales in 2011.
"Home sales quietly improved last year compared to 2012, although the volume of activity didn't compare to some of the record-breaking years we experienced over the last decade," says Sandra Wyant, current REBGV president.
Despite the moderate increase in sales last year, it ranked as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years. Listings in 2013 totaled 54,742, which represented a decline of 6.2 per cent compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Last year's listing count is on par with the ten year average.
"It was a year of stability for the Greater Vancouver housing market," Wyant said. "Balanced conditions allowed home prices in the region to remain steady, with just a modest increase over the last 12 months."
The current Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $603,400. It is a 2.1 per cent increase compared to December 2012.
The Metro Vancouver housing market stayed in great shape in December 2013. Strong results in sales of the three major types of housing properties are a sign that 2014 will start off strong.
Residential property sales reached 1,953 in December 2013, an increase of 71 per cent from the 1,142 sales in December 2012 and a 15.9 per cent drop from 2,321 home sales in November 2013. Overall December sales stayed 8.1 per cent above the 10-year December sales average.
There were 1,856 new listings in December 2013, which was a 34.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,380 units listed in December 2012 and a 42.8 per cent drop compared to November 2013.
Detached property sales reached 762 in December 2013. This figure represents a huge increase of 79.3 per cent from the 425 sales recorded in December 2012, and a 21 per cent increase from the 630 units sold in December 2011. The current benchmark price is $927,000, representing a 2.5 per cent increase from December 2012.
Apartment property sales totaled 850 in December 2013. This represents a jump of 68.7 per cent in comparison to 504 sales in December 2012, and an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to 774 sales in December 2011. The current benchmark price is $367,800.
Attached property sales in December 2013 totaled 341, an increase of 60.1 per cent compared to 213 sales that took place in December 2012, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 254 attached properties sold in December 2011. The benchmark price is $456,100.
Richmond, East Vancouver, and West Vancouver
All three areas had balanced positive results in December 2013, especially compared to December 2012. It is important to highlight that not a single property type in any of the three areas dropped in sales in comparison with the same month last year. The current housing markets stays in great condition, and the current moderate prices offer great opportunities for buyers.
Detached property sales in Richmond reached 89 in December 2013. This figure represents an increase of 102.27 per cent from 44 sales which occurred in December 2012, and a 18.3 per cent decrease from 109 sales recorded in November 2013. The current benchmark price is $940,100.
The number of sales of the attached properties in Richmond totalled 49, an increase of 22.5 per cent from 40 sales recorded in December 2012. December 2013 sales were 34.7 per cent lower than 75 sales which took place in November 2013. The benchmark price for an attached property in Richmond is $498,300.
Apartment sales in December 2013 totalled 111, an increase of 105.55 per cent compared to 54 in December 2012, and a 6.7 per cent increase from the 104 apartments sold in November 2013. The current benchmark price for the apartment properties is $343,900.
In Vancouver East, detached property sales reached 110, an increase of 103.7 per cent from 54 sales recorded in December 2012, and 6.2 per cent decline from the 116 sales which took place in November 2013. Current benchmark price is $867,200.
Number of sales of the attached properties in Vancouver East totalled 33. If we compare this figure to the 17 sales in December 2012, we can see that there was an increase of 94.11 per cent. In comparison with 45 sales in November 2013, the December sales dropped by 26.7 per cent. The current benchmark price is $517,800.
There were a total number of 90 apartments sold in Vancouver East, representing a 69.81 per cent increase from 53 sales in December 2012, and a 24.4 decline from 119 apartments that were sold in November 2013. The benchmark price for apartment properties is currently $308,900.
Detached property sales in the Vancouver West reached 111, representing a 126.53 per cent increase from 49 units sold in December 2012, and declining by 20.7 per cent from 140 detached houses sold in November 2013. Current benchmark price is $2,103,300.
Attached property sales in the Vancouver West totalled 36, which represents an increase of 20 per cent from 30 units sold in December 2012, and a 33.3 percent drop from 54 units sold in November 2013. The benchmark price is currently staying at $696,700.
Apartment sales reached 245 in Vancouver West. This figure shows a 57.05 per cent increase from 156 units sold in December 2012, and a 16.4 percent drop from 293 apartment units sold in November 2013. The current benchmark price is $471,800.