It's not a seller's market or a buyer's market, it's a balanced market.
The Greater Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524, a 14 per cent increase from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and an 11.9 per cent decrease from the 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,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.
Last year’s home sale total ranks as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years, according to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).
The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver declined 6.2 per cent in 2013 to 54,742 compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Looking back further, last year’s total represents an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 59,539 residential properties listed for sale in 2011. Last year’s listing count is on par with the 10 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 MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $603,400. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase compared to December 2012.
Let's look at the mood of the real estate market in Greater Vancouver in the later part of 2012 as this set the stage for the start of 2013.
In the final half of 2012 the lower volume of sales relative to the spring market created a gridlock of buyers and sellers who wanted to purchase but were unable to do so as their homes hadn’t sold. By the end of the year, patience and anticipation of garnering the peak prices of 2012 was exhausted. With the start of 2013 many sellers and realtors accepted that a new pricing reality had to be embraced in order to sell the property. Consequently many properties which were re-entering the market in 2013, and new properties on the market were being priced below peak prices of 2012. New prices and sales reflected a 5% – 10% price reduction depending on the community, type and age of home.
Because of this price adjustment, the percentage of sales to listings in 2013 was up from 2012 in both East and West Vancouver, meaning that more properties that went on the market, actually sold.
Keep in mind that the Great Vancouver Real Estate market has become a collection of "micro markets", in which pricing trends and activity can vary significantly between communities and types of properties. We have observed some multiple offers and certain neighborhoods and types of properties have performed better than others over the year.
In 2014, I'm expecting activity to continue to rise with little fluctation in prices, primarily because I believe interest rates will remain stable, there will be continued job growth, economic stability and continued immigration to the province. I believe we can expect to see 2014 continue to build on the momentum and stability of last year.
If you have any questions about the market in your neighborhood or your personal property, I am more than happy to discuss this with you. Please call me at 604-396-4433.