July 2014 Housing Market Update - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Darcy McLeod | President-elect, REBGV

"Buyer demand continues to put Greater Vancouver in the upper reaches of a balanced real estate market. There were 3,061 sales in July, this is up nearly 4% compared to last year. And is the fourth consecutive month that our market has exceeded 3,000 sales. Prior to this, we hadn't surpassed the 3,000 mark since June of 2011.

In term of listings, there are currently 15,617 listed for sale on our MLS®. This is down 6% compared to last July and 2.5% compared to last month. Home prices have experienced consistent yet modest increases in the region over the last year. Over this time, the benchmark price for a residential property in Greater Vancouver has increased 4.4%.

To help us better understand the strength of today's market, we measure home buyer demand fueled by home sales against home seller supply fueled by home listings. This measurement today gives a sales-to-active listings ratio of 19.6%.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12% mark while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22% range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Our market has been between 18 and 21% for the last six months. This tells us that today's market is on the cusp between a balanced and a seller's market.

This brings us to theREALTOR®view. TheREALTOR®view is a segment that highlights a specific insider trend in the current market. This month we're looking at summer activity. You may often hear people say that the real estate market goes quiet during the summer holiday season.

This statement is a hold over from past decades where sale activity would show a seasonal decline every July. Since the turn of the millenium this pattern has changed. Instead of a guaranteed slow down in the summer months. Activity tends to follow the pattern set in the spring months.

This graph shows the number of home sales in July since 1990. You can see here that the volume of home sales in July is generally higher this decade than we saw during the 1990's. On average, home sale activity in July this decade is about 35% higher than we experienced in the 1990's for example. This is a pattern shift that you may want to be aware of as you embark on the home buying or selling journey."

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Personal Real Estate Corporation
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