Facts By Email

THE NUMBERS, THE NUMBERS – VANCOUVER

Sales in Metro Vancouver totaled 2,489 in August 2016, a decline of 26 per cent compared to the 3,362 sales in August 2015; 10 per cent less than the 2,771 sales in August 2014; and one per cent less than the 2,514 sales in August 2013. August 2016 sales also represent a 23 per cent decline compared to last month’s sales. Also, last month’s sales were 4 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

Sales of detached properties in August 2016 reached 715, a decrease of 45 per cent from the 1,290 detached sales recorded in August 2015.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,343 in August 2016, a decrease of 10 per cent compared to the 1,494 sales in August 2015. The board reported further that all Benchmark prices have increased sharply year over year.

IMPORTANT POINT ON BENCHMARK PRICES:

All major Real Estate Boards now use a MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties. Thus this month the fine Vancouver Board reports that the benchmark price in Metro Vancouver stands currently at $933,100. This would represent a 31 per cent increase compared to August 2015 and a 5 per cent increase over the last three months.

Now, we at JREI do not use the benchmark price, having used a more simple average price measurements for some 23 years. We realize that sometimes an exceptionally high or low price can distort the average, but we feel that the average price accurately tells the most current story.

IMPORTANT MAJOR POINT: Thus we find that in the last few months the benchmark price in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley was reported as rising steadily, while the average price in some areas and product ranges actually crashed by as much as 21%.

Board president Morrison acknowledges this somewhat and explains by saying: “In aggregate, we continue to see an imbalance between supply and demand in most communities. However, we’re also seeing fewer detached sales in the highest price points and fewer detached home sales relative to all residential sales,” Morrison said. “This is causing average sale prices to show a decline in recent months, while benchmark home prices remain virtually unchanged from July.”

Further, in a recent blog a local Realtor points out that The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board average sales price has decreased rapidly for 3 months in a row. The median sale prices for 4 months in a row. Yet the benchmark continues to increase significantly.

Boards may be right in using the benchmark price. Over time a more balanced picture emerges. We feel, however, that in these turbulent times we should use the ACTUAL current prices achieved. To help you, dear reader, understand what we mean we have used 3 measurement periods. August year over year and April 2016 versus August 2016. The numbers are further broken down by suburbs, sales and prices and are self-explanatory.

THE NUMBERS, THE NUMBERS – VANCOUVER – Totals

Vancouver August 2016  August 2015 % April 2016  %
Sales 2,524 3,376   -25% 4,783 -48%
Avg Price  850,700   905,000   -06% 1,100,000 -23%
Active List 9,156 12,173   -25%  8,732 +05%
SF new 2,192,500 1,917,300 +14% 2,150,000 00%
SF used 1,478,300 1,453,300 +02% 1,807,600 -19%
Condo new 729,300 580,000 +26% 552,000 +27%
Condo used 514,900 511,300 +00% 564,000 -10%

Major Point: The overall average price is shown to have dropped by 6% over last August but it also dropped 23% against the price achieved in April! SF (used) prices are 02% higher than August 2015 but 19% lower than in April of this year!

SUBURBS: SALES

Area August 2016  August 2015 % April 2016  %
West Side: SF 60 133   -55% 219 -73%
Condo 313 476   -34% 528 -41%
East Side: SF 80 139 -42% 221 -64%
Condo 115 126 -09% 196 -42%
Burnaby: SF 45 122 -63% 157 -71%
Condo 185 215 -14% 280 -39%
Coquitlam: SF 58 105 -45% 194 -70%
Condo 105 92 +14% 177 -41%
Richmond: SF 64 181 -65% 257 -75%
Condo 190 179 +06% 323 -42%
West Vancouver: SF 33 82 -60% 146 -77%
Condo 18 13 +38% 35 -49%
North Vancouver: SF 65 94 -37% 159 -60%
Condo 77 98 -21% 142 -46%

Major Point: While overall sales are down by 25%, sales in Burnaby, West Van, Richmond and the Westside are over 70% lower when measured against the April sales. (Yes, April is busier than August – but this dramatically lower?)

SUBURBS: PRICES

Area August 2016  August 2015 % April 2016  %
West Side: SF 3,982,900  3,311,800  +20% 4,183,500 -05%
Condo 795,500 753,700  +05% 797,000 00%
East Side: SF 1,472,500 1,293,500 +30% 1,610,000 -08%
Condo 458,900 401,600 +14% 479,000 -04%
Burnaby: SF 1,651,400  1,381,700 +19% 1,758,000 -06%
Condo 445,700 416,700 +07% 473,000 -06%
Coquitlam: SF 1,126,500  937,000 +20% 1,285,800 -12%
Condo 387,100 328,700 +18% 400,100 -03%
Richmond: SF 1,700,000 1,310,000 +30% 1,750,000 00%
Condo 438,500 377,700 +16% 453,200 -03%
West Vancouver: SF 2,969,000 3,085,100 -04% 3,818,800 -23%
Condo 1,027,000 1,169,800 -12% 1,291,700 -20%
North Vancouver: SF 1,752,000 1,404,300  +25% 1,999,300 -12%
Condo 496,700 444,400 +12% 563,700 -12%

Major Point: Study the area you are interested in. The overall price is only 6% lower than last August, but North Van is 12% lower than last April and West Van a whopping 23%.