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One particular constant in Metro Vancouver’s residential market

There’s a single constant in the Greater Vancouver housing market that everyone should keep in mind. It can be expressed as simply as this: people want to live here. This includes families, singles, young people starting out in life, mid-career people with children, and retired seniors. Our region continues to grow in population size; not, however, in geographical size. It is to be expected, therefore, that residential housing will continue to rise in price over the long term. I think most people understand this, and those who see their lives as average and middle class are happy with a regulatory system that keeps prices to a moderate and somewhat predictable rate of increase. That is what we have been experiencing for several months now. What is a bit worrisome is that the supply side is not keeping pace, and if it continues to slow, as I have reporting here for the past few months, there is the looming fear that prices could we suddenly rise more rapidly than they are at present. The supply of housing can only increase with more listings from current owners, or from more residential building, which by necessity must be either with densification or with more towers. Let’s look at what the market statistics tell us now.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver at the end of January 2020 was $1,008,700. This was 0.8 per cent higher than the preceding month, and 1.4 per cent higher that six months ago. The average monthly increase has been relatively small but steady. It is possible that some homeowners may be using this rate to gauge when they will list their home for sale. And of course, if there is surge in prices, this may also trigger more listings, but the actual psychology of homeowners cannot be determined by this alone. It would be reasonable to guess that new listings may come from a market segment where age is an important determinant of selling one’s home. In the meantime, we must contend with currently low new listings, Last month’s new listings were over 17 per cent below the 10-year average. The total number of homes listed for sale in Metro Vancouver at the end of January was 8,617. This was a 20.3 per cent decrease compared with the same month one year ago. From these figures you can see that decreasing supply is occurring in the Metro Vancouver market place. In actual numbers, however, there is still an ample supply and at very good prices at present. Sales of detached homes and townhouses both increased by 0.5 per cent in the past month; and condominium sales increased 1.0 per cent in the same period. It’s an excellent time to make an offer on home. Check out the property types and areas below for comparative benchmark changes in the past month.

Detached Homes The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of January 2020 was $1,431,200, an increase of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,929,600 and Sunshine Coast at $564,900. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is too far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $1,493,500, an decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $1,503,100, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $1,536,800, an increase of 1.6 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby North at $1,407,700, an increase of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month; and Port Moody at $1,399,800, no change from the preceding month.

Townhouses The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of January 2020 was $782,500, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,147,200 and Maple Ridge at $522,300. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Vancouver East at $903,600, an increase of 2.6 per cent from the preceding month; North Vancouver at $478,400, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,147,200, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond, at $775,500, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $768,100, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; and New Westminster at $732,900, an increase of 1.2 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of January 2020 was $663,200, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were West Vancouver at $996,600 and Maple Ridge at $342,400. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby East at $714,500, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $775,700, an increase of 2.0 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $996,600 a decrease of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $661,700, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $640,700, a decrease of 2.2 per cent from the preceding month; and Richmond at $634,100, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month.

How can I help? I’m always eager to help my clients in any way I can. Please don’t forget I also bring strong banking and finance experience to help with your budget and mortgage planning. And if you are thinking about renovations on your existing home, I can offer good advice on what your investment will return to your future home value. I can also recommend reputable and reliable tradespeople who provide quality work at reasonable rates. Please let me know if I can assist in any way at all. It’s a pleasure for me to help you.

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call. (604) 779-7992

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

New year sees prices moving upwards: combined residential benchmark rises over $1-million

Metro Vancouver

With both a new year and a new decade underway, many people will want to take notice of a significant event that has occurred in the Greater Vancouver real estate market. At the beginning of January, the combined benchmark price for a residential property rose above the 1-million mark. At $1,001,900, it is nearly $12,000 higher than at the end of September 2019. This is a substantial increase in the last quarter of 2019, yet it is worthwhile noting that it is still almost $18,000 less than in mid-2017, when it first surpassed the $1-million mark before government measures took effect in 2018. In short, I think we can now confidently expect continued upward prices, although at a more gradual rate than the pre-2017 upward price spiral. At the same, we are closing the gap relatively quickly to where prices were three years ago. If you have been delaying a decision to make a purchase offer, there is good reason to make it now. Another quarter at the same rate of increase will add another $10,000 to the benchmark price, and this may not be the only factor. Home listings can play a significant role.

It is important to watch the supply of homes on the market. Generally, there has been a decline in new listings over the past three years. While home hunters have no worries of finding lots of available homes to choose from, the decline in total inventory may start having an upward push on prices if demand continues to rise. At the end of 2019, the total of residential listings across all property types in Greater Vancouver reached close to 52,000. However, this was more than a 3.0 per cent decrease from 2018, and a 5.0 per cent decrease from 2017. Currently, inventory levels still offer an excellent variety to choose from in each of the residential categories. At the end of December 2019, the number of homes listed for sale in Metro Vancouver was over 8,600. Please take a look below at the comparative prices in each of the property type across Greater Vancouver that I have selected for you. This will allow to see the price changes over one month for areas closest to the benchmark price. If you have questions about any particular property type or municipal area, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Detached Homes

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of December 2019 was $1,423,500, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,920,800 and Sunshine Coast at $574,600. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is too far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $1,494,500, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $1,495,400, a decrease of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $1,513,300, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,399,800, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $1,390,100, an increase of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $1,389,000, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of December 2019 was $778,400, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,135,800 and Maple Ridge at $533,800. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Vancouver East at $880,800, an increase of 2.3 per cent from the preceding month; North Vancouver at $928,500, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,135,800, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond, at $770,300, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $762,600, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $724,200, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of December 2019 was $656,700, an increase of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were West Vancouver at $1,009,900 and Maple Ridge at $347,500. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby East at $715,000, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $760,300, an increase of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1.009.900, a decrease of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $652,000, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $630,200, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; and Port Moody at $626,800, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month.

Best Wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

This is a time when many new year’s resolutions are about doing something around your home, or perhaps even doing something with your home. If you are planning to renovate, build a deck, or decorate your home’s interior, I can help you find reputable and reliable tradespeople. If you are planning a home purchase, I can provide financial expertise on your mortgage planning. I truly enjoy being able to help my clients in any way I can.

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call. (604) 779-7992

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

Market conditions bode well for home buyers in the New Year

As we approach the end of 2019, it’s a natural time to wonder what the New Year will bring. Let’s look first at what the past year tells us. Over the past 12 months we’ve had a 4.0 per cent decline in the composite benchmark price for residential properties in Greater Vancouver, and an increase in sales. Total residential sales at the end of November were over 55 per cent higher than one year ago. At the same time, the number of listed homes at the end of November was 10,770, a drop of nearly 13 per cent from November 2018. With lower inventory but increased demand, one would think that prices would have moved up, not down. So how do we account for this peculiar phenomenon? I suggest the primary reason is the ongoing trend in declining prices has been mainly a function of the market correction since government measures were put in place in 2018. So, the question on everyone’s mind is when will prices begin moving upwards again? The answer is, they already have, in some areas. The composite benchmark in Burnaby East, for example, has seen an increase of 1.5 per cent in the past three months; in the same period, Port Coquitlam has increased 1.4 per cent and Vancouver East has increased 1.0 per cent.


Overall, market watchers generally agree that home prices in Greater Vancouver have returned to a level in line with typical prices for the region. Because composite benchmarks are comparative averages, it’s important to look at specific areas to track the monthly price fluctuations. And even here you will find some minor increases and decreases which can be due to the current demand in a particular area. One metric you may also want to keep your eye on at this time is the composite benchmark price for residential properties across all of Metro Vancouver. It is currently $993,700, still below the $1-million mark, which I have often pointed out is an important psychological threshold for both buyers and potential sellers. Over the past six months, this benchmark has declined 1.3 per cent, which may be a reason why new listings have also declined. Since the composite benchmark is made up of individual benchmarks in the region, it can begin moving upwards with slight changes in areas that have shown modest declines. If you are thinking about buying, it’s probably best to make an offer before this happens. The New Year appears to be ready to start with stable market prices, but there is always growing demand for homes we may see a broader range of price increases. If you are thinking of buying, it’s a good time. My selected benchmarks below can help you with the current prices in each property type.


Detached Homes


The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of November was $1,415,400, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,904,200 and Sunshine Coast at $588,000. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $1,486,200, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $1,490,800, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $1,497,500, an increase of 2.2 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,395,400, an in crease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $1,380,700, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver East at $1,377,100, an increase of 1.2 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of November was $772,800, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,133,900 and Maple Ridge at $529,200. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Vancouver East at $861,200, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; North Vancouver at $937,100, an in crease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,133,900, an increase of 1.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $789,600, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond, at $766,400, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; and New Westminster at $735,400, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of November was $651,500, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were West Vancouver at $1,022,700 and Maple Ridge at $347,300. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby East at $718,100, an increase of 1.8 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $750,400, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1.022.700, a decrease of 2.5 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $647,300, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $629,700, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $627,100, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Your home is a special place and even more appreciated when it can be enjoyed with friends and neighbors this festive season. My family and I wish you a safe and merry holiday season, and best wishes for the New Year.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

Sales increase while prices still below one year ago; signs of prices now inching upward monthly.

November ushered in lots of sunshine for Vancouverites. And that wasn’t the only bright spot. For home hunters the more than 4,000 new listings in October makes for a great selection across all detached homes, townhouses and condominiums. Added to the existing supply, the total inventory of available properties rose to well over 12,000 in Metro Vancouver. October also saw a significant increase in home sales: over 22 per cent higher than September. This current upward movement in sales activity is a very positive indicator of buyer confidence in the Greater Vancouver market. Compared to sales one year ago, the volume is more than a 45 per cent increase. Prices overall can be described as stable, allowing sales transactions to take place without undue stress for both seller and buyer. Over the past six months, prices have decreased 1.7 per cent on average. But there are signs that prices may have begun inching upwards. For anyone wanting the current monthly comparison, take a look at the detailed comparisons I make for each of the property type below.


The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver at the end of October was $992,900, up slightly by 0.2 per cent above September. It is still 6.4 per cent below the benchmark price at this time one year ago so I still strongly recommend making an offer on a home now , especially if you have been waiting for an opportune time. With the recent increase in sales volume, we may begin to see prices edge upwards in the coming months, even though they have dropped below price levels one year ago. Take a look at the comparisons across the property types below and you will notice that there are more increases than decreases in the last one-month comparison. This cannot be construed as a trend yet, but I suggest market watchers take notice of the short-term variations each month. For example, each of the benchmark prices for detached homes, townhouses, and condominiums in Metro Vancouver this month has increased slightly over the preceding month. If you want a deeper dive into these benchmarks for prices in different municipalities, I have selected six areas for each property type. This allows you to watch the monthly change for any area, and you can stay abreast of the monthly changes in this newsletter.

Detached Homes
The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of October was $1,410,500, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,912,000 and Sunshine Coast at $598,300. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: North Vancouver at $1,465,700, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $1,473,100, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; and Richmond at $1,501,600, an increase of 1.7 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,394,300, a decrease of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $1,366,200, an increase of 1.6 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver East at $1,360,500, an increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses
The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of October was $$771,600, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,113,400 and Maple Ridge at $528,800. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Richmond at $773,400, an increase of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $776,600, an increase of 2.6 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver East at $852,800, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: New Westminster at $724,800, and increase of 2.6 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $723,900, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby East at $653,000, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month.


Condominiums
The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of October was $652,500, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of the average were West Vancouver at $1,048,800 and Maple Ridge at $350,400. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby East at $711,300, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $754,100, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1,048,800, an increase of 2.7 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $645,300, a decrease of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $630,600, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; and Richmond at $625,500, a decrease of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month.


I can help in many ways
I bring extensive experience in banking and finance so let me know how I can help. I am happy to share my expertise with you for mortgage planning or determining the optimal listing pricing for your property. If you are thinking of adding value to their home with renovations, I can also recommend reliable tradespeople who provide quality work at reasonable rates. Please don’t hesitate to ask. It gives me great pleasure to help my clients.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

October an excellent time to explore the market; new listings up 30 per cent in one month

This is a beautiful time of the year, and I know some of my clients are enjoying scenic drives around Metro Vancouver with the colors of autumn decorating residential neighborhoods. Even better, last month saw a surge in new listings to almost 30 per cent over August, so there’s a great selection of homes available right now. With 4,866 new listings, the total inventory of detached homes, townhouses and condominiums rose to almost 13,439. If you’ve been looking but just haven’t found the right home yet, the current selection could hold that special place you’ve been waiting for. But let me point out another reason to do some serious shopping at this time. There were 2,333 residential sales in September, which was close to 50 per cent more than September one year ago, and almost 5 per cent more than sales in August this year. It’s becoming increasingly clear that much of the pent-up demand that formed over the past couple of years is now being released. Sales are increasing as both buyers and sellers regain their confidence in stable prices. One common metric is the ratio of sales-to-active listings. That ratio is in a sweet spot right now between 12 and 20 per cent. When it drops below 12, we tend to see downward pressure on prices; and above 20, we tend to see upward pressure. With current prices within this range, it’s a comfortable time to make an offer, or to list your home. Let’s look at the trend for the past half a year.


The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver at the end of September was $990,600, a slight decrease of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month. The six-month change was a decline of 2.2 per cent which, of course, means $22,000 less on a $1-million listing. But keep in mind that this leaves ample room for some negotiating when making an offer. In an overall climate of price stability, a reasonably priced home will attract offers close to the listed price without a stampede of competing offers driving up the price. That’s why I encourage prospective buyers to get out and take advantage of the current price levels. Remember that the composite benchmark is still below the psychological threshold of $1-million. This situation can contribute to a dynamic market where sales and listings remain in good balance. Take s look at the monthly comparisons I have selected for you below. Whatever your choice of property type and residential area, it’s a good time to find a property with a price that can once again be historically typical for Greater Vancouver.


Detached Homes

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of September was $1,406,200, no change from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,894,400 and Sunshine Coast at $594,900. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients).The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,047,900 a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $1,458,500, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $1,463,200 a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Vancouver East at $1,358,700 an increase of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $1,345,000 a decrease of 2.2 per cent from the preceding month; and Coquitlam at $1,157,100, no change from the preceding month.


Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of September was $767,500, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,098,900 and Pit Meadows at $595,300. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Vancouver East at $843,400, an increase of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; North Vancouver at $937,100, a decrease of 2.4 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,098,900, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond at $$767,300, a decrease of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $767,100, a decrease of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $729,500 an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month.


Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of September was $651,500, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of the average were West Vancouver at $1,021,200 and Maple Ridge at $348,500. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $654,500, an increase of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $754,800, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1,021,200, a decrease of 3.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond at 627,100, an increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $627,000, an increase of 0.8 pre cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver East at $548,300 a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month.


I can help

Please don’t hesitate to call me (604) 779-7992 for whatever you need in Real Estate advice. I am always happy to provide you with detailed information on the property type and neighborhood you may be interested in. And if you are contemplating listing your property for sale, I can provide you with information on comparable homes sold in your area. In some cases, prospective sellers may want to do some renovations before listing; I can advise on what will make for the most optimal return on your investment. I also refer you to reliable tradespeople who do quality work at reasonable rates.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

Stable market conditions across all property types as summer draws to an end

METRO VANCOUVER

Where’s the market at now? That’s a question I’ve been hearing lately. It tells me people are aware of the dramatic price drop on homes for over a year. Whether someone has been waiting to list or buy, they seem to have sense that it’s now time to act – and I have to agree! I’ve been tracking the monthly price changes for you here in a period of market cooling since the all-time high in 2017. Of course, prospective buyers were reluctant to make an offer while the price trend has been downward. They are always wondering if the bottom has arrived, and will prices start moving up again?

It’s easy to fall into this kind of attitude, but it’s important to remember that there are multiple factors that make up price movements. To be practical, we can narrow our considerations to the assumptions that the downward trend we’ve seen in the past 15 months was due to stricter mortgage rules, with additional taxes also playing a role. However, the real estate market is made up of buyers and sellers who want to – indeed, need to – have transactions. And in a mature market area like Metro Vancouver, we can reasonably expect to return to what we call typical market activity.

Our two past summer months reflect what I would call this kind of typical activity, and even with some monthly decline in both sales and listings last month, I would venture to say that over the past two summer months, activity across Metro Vancouver appears to have returned to normal.

The combined benchmark price for a residential property in Greater Vancouver at the end of August was $990,300, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from July. This is too small a decrease to suggest an ongoing downward trend, and it should be noted that this benchmark is still below the $1-million mark which surpassed by the majority of single-family detached homes in Metro Vancouver’s various areas. Looking at the total inventory of homes on the market at the end of August, we have a plentiful supply at 13,396, which is over 13 per cent higher than one year ago. While the total sales in August were down 5.9 per cent compared with July, this cannot itself be construed as ongoing downward movement. It’s important to note that the number of August sales was actually close to 16 per cent higher than they were for the same month a year ago.

In short, if you want to make a sale or a purchase, there’s no time like the present. Take a look at the price comparisons I have selected for you below.

Detached Homes 

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of August was $$1,406,700, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,880,800 and Sunshine Coast at $584,600. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is too far away for my clients.) The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,420,900, a decrease of 1.5 per cent form the preceding month; Richmond at $1,458,800, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby South at $1,467,900, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on lower side of the average were: Burnaby North at $1,375,500, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $1,346,500, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby East at $1,165,800, a decrease of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of August was $771,900, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,115,100 and Maple Ridge at $522,800. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Richmond at $774,900, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $838,100, a decrease of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $960, 200, an increase of 1.7 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $767,000, an increase of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $721,500, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; and New Westminster at $713,000, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of August was $654,000, an increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of the average were West Vancouver at $1,062,100 and Maple Ridge at $351,500. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby East at $700,700, a decrease of 2.9 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver West at $756,000, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1,062,100, a decrease of 2.2 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $648,500, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $626,700, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; and Port Moody at $622,200, a decrease of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month.

Other ways I can help

I am here to help you, whatever your housing requirements, I bring experience in banking and finance to assist you in your mortgage planning. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, I can also advise you on the optimal price for the current market conditions. And in case you are thinking about home renovations that will increase your home value, I can provide a comparative analysis on properties in your neighborhood. I can also recommend reputable tradespeople who do excellent work at fair rates. Please don’t hesitate to call me at (604) 779-7992. It gives me great pleasure to help my clients.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

Sales move up while new listings drop; composite residential benchmark still below $1-million

There are several market dynamics occurring at this time which reinforce what I have been saying for the last couple of months. If you are watching the housing market with the intention of buying, then I highly recommend you make that decision now. July sales in the Greater Vancouver region showed a sharp rise over June, an increase of more than 23 per cent in one month. I would normally not pay the as much attention to one month’s activity except that July is typically a slower month for real estate sales. Add to this current activity two other metrics to see what’s emerging. First, the number of new listings in July went down almost 5.0 per cent compared with June; and second, the composite benchmark price is just under the psychological threshold of $1-million. Together, these three figures suggest that buyers are realizing prices could begin rising against a declining inventory, and that once the $1-million mark is surpassed again, pent up demand can keep it going upwards. This can also cause potential sellers to delay their listing while hoping to get a higher price, which further move prices up on supply -demand basis.

In actual numbers, there is still a sizable inventory across all housing types so the selection remains very good with a total 14,240 homes available at the end of July. You can find a sample of benchmarks for each property type below with my latest comparisons of month-over-month prices. The composite benchmark price for Metro Vancouver at the end of July was $995,200, a slight decrease of 0.2 per cent from June. As I mentioned last month, this benchmark dropped below $1-million for the first time since 2017, brought down by market cooling measures taken by two levels of government. During this time, a lot of potential buyers have been waiting on the sidelines to make a purchase. As it did in 2017, this benchmark price jumped over $1-million quickly. I will be watching it for you in this newsletter next month. In the meantime, I encourage you to take advantage of the lovely summer weather and check out some of the great listings available to you now.

Detached Homes

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of July was $1,417,000, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,885,400 and Sunshine Coast at $596,300. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,442,000, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $1,474,800, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby South at $1,477,300, a decrease of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby North at $1,373,400, a decrease of 1.9 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $1,352,800, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby East at $1,181,900, and increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of July was $770,000, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,114,700 and Maple Ridge at $524,100. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Richmond at $770,900, a decrease of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $847,400, a decrease of 1.6 per cent from the preceding month; and West Vancouver at $1,114,700, a decrease of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month. (Note I have excluded Whistler in third place here because it is too far away for my clients.) The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $760,600, a decrease of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; New Westminster at $713,900, a decrease of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; and Port Moody at $656,900, an increase of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month. (Note I have excluded Squamish in third place here because it is too far away for my clients.)

Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of July was $653,200, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of the average were West Vancouver at $1,085,700 and Maple Ridge at $347,800. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $653,500, a decrease of 1.9 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby East at $721,200, a decrease of 2.0 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $752,300, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Port Moody at 628,700, an increase of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $652,500, a decrease of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $609,500, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month.

How can I help?

I am here to help you, whatever your housing requirements, I bring experience in banking and finance to assist you in your mortgage planning and can also advise you on pricing your home at the optimal price for the prevailing market conditions. This may include renovations that will increase your home value or simply enhance your own living comfort. I can recommend excellent tradespeople who are reputable, reliable and reasonable in their rates. It gives me pleasure to help my clients. Please don’t hesitate to call me for any real estate advice you may need.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

July Market Update for Metro Vancouver

Composite residential benchmark price drops below $1-million – back to 2017 mark.
Readers may recall a contest in my newsletter in July 2017. The composite benchmark price for residential properties in Greater Vancouver had been moving upwards – getting close to the $1-million mark for a couple months. I offered a prize to anyone who could guess which month it would surpass $1-million. That happened by the end of that July when it reached $1,019,400. It had hit $998,700 in the preceding June, a jump of $92,000 over $906,700 at the beginning of May 2017. I referred then to the $1-million price as an important psychological threshold. I noticed a shift after that with clients choosing townhouses or condominiums instead of detached homes, which were becoming increasingly beyond the budgets of many customers. So, just two years later, the composite benchmark price at the end of June 2019 is again below $1-million – and of particular note – at $998,700 it is exactly where it was two years ago!

I wouldn’t put too much stock in the adage that what goes up, must come down. While the current decline in prices might seem to confirm this saying, when it comes to real estate it’s better to understand the forces behind the price movement. For this I return again to the market cooling measures adopted by the federal and provincial governments – stiffer mortgage qualification and additional taxes have been effective in bring down prices overall. The steady price decline for over a year has prompted many homeowners to list their property for sale in the hope of getting the best price before a further decline. This has resulted in a great selection of homes to choose from (14,968 total inventory at the end of June), but a lot of prospective buyers are still waiting to see if prices go lower. I understand this decision predicament. However, I urge buyer clients to weigh their priorities carefully. If you are eager to get into a home, don’t gamble unnecessarily by trying to beat the market. With the psychological threshold price now below $1-million again, demand can increase rapidly just as it did in 2017. This is an excellent time to find a great home for a price that is again in an affordable range. Take at look at the comparative benchmark prices I have selected for you across each of property types below.

Detached Homes
The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of June was $1,423,500, an increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,912,000 and Sunshine Coast at $599,100. (Note: I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Port Moody at $1,427,400, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; Richmond at $1,484,600, a decrease of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $1,496,100, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby North at $$1,399,800, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $1,350,100, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses
The benchmark price for townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of June was $774,700, a decrease of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West at $1,125,800 and Maple Ridge at $529,900. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Richmond at $779,200, an increase of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $861,500, a decrease of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month, Note: I excluded Whistler here at $881,000, because it is to far way for my clients); and North Vancouver at $946,600, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby South at $762,600, a decrease of 2,4 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $725,500, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; and New Westminster at $721,500, an increase of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums
The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of June was $654,700, a decrease of 1.4 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were West Vancouver at $1.034, 500 and Maple Ridge at $355,200. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $666,200, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby East at $736,100, a decrease of 1.6 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $744,300, a decrease of 1.9 per cent form the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond at $628,500, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $619,800, a decrease of 1.7 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $607,800, a decrease of 1.2 per cent from the preceding month.

I can help in other ways
I am active in many areas of real estate so please don’t hesitate to ask me if there are other ways in which I can help you. My experience in banking and finance will assist you in your mortgage planning. Or you if are already settled in your home and are thinking of renovations, I can recommend reputable tradespeople who provide quality work at a reasonable rates. It gives me great pleasure to help my clients in any way I can.

Please contact me with any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang 

Overall Prices Remain Stable – Supply Has Increased, Big Sales Jump in May

The first thing I want to point out this month is that there was very little change in the overall residential market price average in Metro Vancouver. At the end of May, the composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver was $1,006,400, a slight increase of 0.4 per cent from April. In the same period, the total inventory of listed homes rose to 14,685, an increase of 2.3 per cent from one month earlier. In fact, the increase in the number of listings in the past month was 2.1 per cent higher than in the previous month. For prospective home buyers this signals an excellent time to make an offer on the home you have been waiting for. You have a big choice of properties, and the statistics tell us that prices overall are still reasonably stable. It also appears like others are beginning to recognize this is a good time to buy. The number of actual sales in Metro Vancouver in May was a 44.2 per cent increase of homes sold in April. So, I would encourage you to make a purchasing decision now if you have been sitting on the fence, or seriously start looking if you haven’t taken advantage of the summer-like weather upon us now.

The Greater Vancouver region has some very nice properties listed now, and at much more attractive prices than you would have seen a year ago. All this of course is due to the price declines following the multiple taxes and mortgage constraints launched in 2018. The desired effect to cool a hot market and dampen rapidly escalating prices has been achieved. With the general benchmark price hovering around $1,000,000 – a psychological price threshold I have always watched closely – it may be prudent to ask if a price bottom has been reached. Think about this when you take a look at a property you are interested in. You can use the $1-million benchmark to compare what you think of a particular property listed in any specific area of the city. Below you have the benchmark comparisons in my monthly selections for you.

Detached Homes

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Greater Vancouver at the end of May was $1,006,400, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $2,927,600 and Sunshine Coast at $600,300. (Note I include the Sunshine Coast only as a factor in the average, but do not report on housing prices in this area because it is to far away for my clients). The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Richmond at $1,503,700 a decrease of 1.8 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby South at $1,508,100, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $1,508,300, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Burnaby North at $1,407,600, an increase of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; Port Moody at $1,405,700, an increase of 2.9 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver East at $1,347,000, a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month.

Townhouses

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Greater Vancouver at the end of May was $779,400, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $1,022,700 and Maple Ridge at $545,200. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $781,500, an increase of 1.7 per cent from the preceding month; Vancouver East at $873,700, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the preceding month; and North Vancouver at $953,200, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month;. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond at $776,700, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby North at $730,300, an increase of 3.0 per cent from the preceding month; and New Westminster at $715, a decrease of 2.3 per cent from the preceding month.

Condominiums

The benchmark price for a condominium in Greater Vancouver at the end of May was $664,200, a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of the average were West Vancouver at $1,022,700 and Maple Ridge at $350,700. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Burnaby South at $676,400, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; Burnaby East at $748,100, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month; and Vancouver West (not West Vancouver) at $785,500, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Richmond at $637,900, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Por Moody at $630,600, a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; and Burnaby North at $615,100, an increase of 0.5 per cent from the preceding month.

Please ask how I can help

As I remind you in the space each month, I do enjoy seeing my clients achieve their goals in the housing market. For those of you who are thinking about renovating for your personal pleasure, or in preparation of listing your property for sale, it’s always important to maximize the value of your home. I have excellent contacts among reliable and honest tradespeople who can provide excellent workmanship for any renovation project. Let me know if I can help you in this way. I can also provide you with a comparative market evaluation of your home so you can determine the budget for your renovation most effectively.

Thanks for reading!

Sibo Zhang, REALTOR®

Please contact me for more information

604-779-7992

sibo.zhang@gmail.com

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