Vancouver Real Estate Market Update
The Real Estate Board states “May sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 20.4% absorption rate in Greater Vancouver, which this is the first time that this measure has been above 20% since June 2011”. They note, we are now a Sellers’ market. This statement by the Real Estate Board is not entirely accurate because it has been a Sellers’ market for Vancouver Detached properties for the past 2 ½ years. The condominium market has strengthened but remains slower paced and should not be considered a Sellers’ market.
The following summaries discuss Vancouver’s market by area:
Vancouver West Detached
The strongest activity was in the 1.5 to 2 million dollar price range. Sales were strong right up to 3.5 million. There continues to be many off shore buyers purchasing prime West Side properties but they are heavily negotiating with any offers they present. Kitsilano properties are extremely active with local buyers and if the property has a mortgage helper we are witnessing multiple offers and sale prices over asking prices. The overall absorption rate is 23%.
Vancouver West Attached
There was an increase in both the number of listings and sales for the month of May. The number of sales increased from 421 in March to 470 in May. Overall activity is very good up to the 1.5 million dollar price point. The busiest sector continues to be the 400 thousand to 500 thousand price range. The most sought after attached property for the month of May was anything located in Kit Point. The overall absorption rate is 22% but correct pricing remains critical in the West Side attached market.
Vancouver East Detached
The Vancouver East Side housing market is very busy. In my 27 years selling real estate in Vancouver, I have never seen this sector as active as it is today. For the first time in history we witnessed a property on a 33 x 122 foot lot sell for over 2 million dollars ($2,150,000). The Main, Fraser and Grandview sub areas are achieving unprecedented sale prices. In my opinion these sub areas are the Kitsilano of the 90’s. The overall absorption rate is 36%
Vancouver East Attached
The condo market on the East Side is good with an overall absorption rate of 28%. Low interest rates are driving the highest number of sales in the 2 hundred to 5 hundred thousand dollar price range. We witnessed steady activity right up to 8 hundred thousand dollars. Pricing remains important in this sector. If a listing is priced slightly over market value it will sit unsold.
See Pricing Charts Below
New Vancouver Detached Housing Regulations in Motion
What you need to know if you own or plan to own a detached property in Vancouver:
There is currently a Heritage Action Plan to update Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program. This soon to be established program is still in development but there are certain rules that are now in place. These are:
- If a Vancouver property zoned RS currently has a house that was built prior to 1940 it cannot be simply torn down to build a new house. A photo of the house/structure must be submitted to the City Hall New Development & Building Services Centre. If the department deems the structure to have neighbourhood historical character appeal the developer who wants to build a new structure will have to follow certain guidelines. If the builder retains the original structure they will be allowed to build to .7 of the lot size for FSR (floor space ratio). If the builder wants to tear down the entire house they will only be allowed to build to .6 FSR of the lot size and maybe charged additional costs for demolition. This will affect the sellers’ property market value.
- All Vancouver properties/structures zoned RT-5 must be submitted to City Hall New Development & Building Services Centre. It does not matter if the house or structure currently existing on the property was built before or after 1940.
These new regulations were put into motion in November and December of 2013. The startup program is still in the development stage and further regulations maybe implemented in the coming months. Please call me for further information or go to this link:
Vancouver Listings and Sales Charts