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Vancouver and Fraser Valley Housing Market “Balanced”

July 5, 2011

Filed under: Real Estate Market,Vancouver — Richard Morrison @ 12:32 pm
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METRO vancouver — If there’s one word that describes Metro vancouver and the vancouver-east-fraser-homes/” >fraser Valley’s current housing market, it’s balanced.

“Right now we’re at 22 per cent [sales-to-listings ratio], which means 22 per cent of the homes for sale are selling,” real estate Board of vancouver president Rosario Setticasi said in an interview Tuesday. “So, it’s balanced at the upper end and favours sellers, just barely.”

Setticasi noted that sales are below the 10-year average and home listings above what’s typical for June, and that means a closer alignment between supply and demand in the marketplace.

He said the sales-to-listings ratio is falling — and with it, upward pressure on prices.

“We were at 26 to 29 per cent when the market was really moving [and] last month it was at 24 per cent, so it’s dropped a bit. If it drops further it will be more to the buyers’ advantage because there’s more listings, and vendors are competing for buyers.”

In the vancouver-east-fraser-homes/” >fraser Valley, the percentage of properties sold compared to those available for purchase — 1,588 sales out of 9,758 listings in June — was constant over the past three months at 16 per cent, also reflecting balanced conditions more in favour of the buyer, the vancouver-east-fraser-homes/” >fraser Valley real estate Board said.

“When supply and demand remain as consistent as they have since April, it indicates a stable market,” board president Sukh Sidhu said, adding that the numbers vary in each community.

Tsur Somerville, director, centre for urban economics and real estate, Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C., said in an interview that he senses a slight “step back” in sales following sharp increases earlier in the year.

As well, he said, sellers are responding to the higher prices through increased listings.

“If listings are growing faster than sales, it’s a lower sales-to-listings ration, which is more favourable to buyers,” he added.

The REBGV reported that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 3,262 in June, a 9.8-per-cent increase compared to the 2,972 sales in June 2010 but a 3.4-per-cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales in May 2011.

New listings totalled 5,793 in June, a 4.5-per-cent increase compared to June 2010 and 9.8 per cent higher than the 10-year average for June, while residential sales were 7.3 per cent below the ten-year average for sales in June.

The benchmark price for all residential properties (the price of a typical home) in Metro vancouver increased 8.7 per cent to $630,921 in June 2011 from $580,237 in June 2010, with the largest price increases on the west side of vancouver and West vancouver.

“Since the end of May, the benchmark price of a detached home rose more than $147,000 on the west side of vancouver and over $80,000 in West vancouver,” Setticasi said. “Detached home prices in richmond, however, levelled off slightly, declining $25,000 in June.”

Sales of detached homes in June 2011 reached 1,471, an increase of 29.1 per cent from the 1,139 detached sales recorded in June 2010, while the benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.4 per cent from June 2010 to $901,680.

The benchmark price for a detached home on the west side of vancouver was $2,068,000 in June and in West vancouver, $1,793,000.

The vancouver-east-fraser-homes/” >fraser Valley board said it received 2,762 new listings in June, a decrease of 12 per cent compared to the 3,153 new listings in June 2010. Total sales declined about one per cent since May, and 12.5 per cent since June 2010.

In June, the benchmark price for vancouver-east-fraser-homes/” >fraser Valley detached homes was $528,060, an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to $518,355 in June 2010 and a slight drop from May.

Meanwhile, detached single family home sales on vancouver Island north of Victoria are holding steady, with a one-per-cent decline in June compared to June 2010 and a 1.45 per cent decrease from May.

The vancouver Island real estate Board said in a survey that the average price of a detached home was $343,422 in June, down one per cent from $345,269 in June 2010 and down 3.6 per cent from $356,403 in May.

In Victoria, a total of 618 homes were sold in June, up from 572 sales in May and close to the 625 sales in June of last year.

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria in June was $629,292, with 23 single family home sales of over $1 million. The average price in June 2010 was $649,280.

Source: BRIAN MORTON, vancouver SUN

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