Instability and uncertainty continued to characterize the Greater Vancouver market in September. Although we have not (yet) seen a drop in home prices overall for the region, both buyers and sellers have been more apprehensive, and sales are notably down for September compared with August 2016 (down 9.5%), September 2015 (down 32.6%), and 10 year historical norms (down 9.6%). In light of the recently introduced foreign tax, the vacant home tax in Vancouver, and now the new mortgage rules (which will disproportionately affect first time home-buyers), we foresee that the market will likely continue this way for some time.
West Vancouver Detached Homes
The West Vancouver market continued to drop for September, with the sales ratio down to 6%. On average, homes (that are selling) are selling at list price and the average sale price for September rebounded from August back to $2,990,000 (likely thanks to a couple of higher end sales skewing the average up). Inventory was up 8% from August to September as we predicted last month, but sales were down 28%.
West Vancouver Attached Homes
The sales ratio for West Vancouver attached homes in September was 29%, which is still a sellers’ market. Inventory was up 16% from the month before and sales were down 19%. The average sale price fell dramatically for September from $900,000 to $689,000 (down 23%). Not too much weight can be put on this average though given the small sample size for sales (only 17 for the month). Anecdotally, there still appears to be strong demand for attached properties in West Vancouver that are suitable for downsizers.
North Vancouver Detached Homes
The North Vancouver detached market saw a large drop last month, with inventory rising 58% from August and sales dropping 17%. The sales ratio for the month dropped to 17%, out of sellers’ market territory and now a “balanced market” on the verge of being a buyers’ market. The most active price band was between $1,000,000 and $1,250,000 with a 67% sales ratio. Homes between $2,250,000 and $2,500,000 and between $2,500,000 and $2,750,000 experienced dismal sales ratios of 6% and 7% respectively, despite the relatively large number of listings in these price bands. The average days on market for sold listings in September was 11, so homes that were selling were still selling quite quickly. On average, sold listings were going 2% below list price.
North Vancouver Attached Homes
The North Vancouver attached market remained the strongest of the bunch for September, with a 61% sales ratio. Sales were up 32% in September and inventory was also up 33%. The average sale price for September was $590,000, which is over $100,000 higher than the month before and the highest average we have seen so far. Some of this likely is to do with the fact that many young families and downsizers are looking to the newer or renovated townhomes and half duplexes in North Vancouver, most of which are above $800,000. Edgemont, Hamilton, Roche Point, Pemberton, Central Lonsdale, and Lynn Valley were all hot in September. Lower Lonsdale also did well with the most sales for the month (although also the most listings). It will be interesting to watch for October whether the new mortgage rules tightening qualification requirements for government insured mortgages will cause this lower end of the North Shore market to weaken. It is likely that many first time home-buyers as well as investors will not be able to get into the market with these new rules.