A Lukewarm Start to the Year

Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

... This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market.


Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5 per cent decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold.  Last month’s sales were 10.3 per cent below our 10-year January sales average.


“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017.”

As for most of the Lower Mainland, 2016 was more than a banner year in the North Vancouver real estate market – and toward the end of the year, we experienced significant changes to inventory & days on the market.    North Vancouver inventory climbed from 120 Active Detached Listings in August, 2016 to 306 as of November 30th – and today, back down to 218.  There is a slightly longer marketing period (stats show approximately 8 days on average in the early part of this year.  October showed 16 days on average in North Vancouver – & today it’s an average of 23 days).  Still quick, but less frenetic.


In a year where Buyers have been ‘beat up’ through the Spring, with huge demand and very little supply, and prices rising, plus the industry being under the microscope, the new 15% Foreign Buyer Tax, the recent US election, and the hit on mortgage qualifying for those with less than 20% down, it is not a huge surprise that the end of the year market was a little bumpy, and buyers were taking a bit of a breather.   Nevertheless, people want to live here, 3 weeks on the market is still quick, and we find ourselves in a market still favoring sellers – and with Spring on the way, which is usually the best time to sell, conditions are favorable to Sellers now looking to make a move, particularly in the "under $1.6 Million" detached market.

Apartment sales are still going strong, with many cases of multiple offers, although again, less frantic than early 2016.  Inventory in the apartment world is still incredibly low in North Vancouver - just 117 units listed.  Same in the Townhome market - only 32 active listings.

While Sales have have slowed considerably since the Spring of 2016 (May / June was the peak – and the last three months have been at levels about 1/3 of Spring 2016), and there is no longer tremendous upward pressure on prices, there seems to be good balance in the market now and the phone is beginning to ring.  Spring is always expected to show a greater number of transactions.  If inventory remains low, we could be saying, “here we go again!”.






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