From the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver here is the statistics package.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – May 4, 2009 – With more buyers and fewer homes for sale in recent months, the Greater Vancouver housing market has entered a more moderate and balanced state.
For the sixth consecutive month, new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 33.7 per cent to 4,649 in April 2009 compared to April 2008, when 7,010 new units were listed. The total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), while slightly down compared to last month, remains un-changed compared to the same period in 2008.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,963 in April 2009, a decline of eight per cent from the 3,218 sales recorded in April 2008, and an increase of 31 per cent compared to last month.
We’'re seeing greater balance in the housing market, as evidenced by a strong sales to active listings ratio of over 19 per cent,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said. “The result is a relatively stable market in which homes are being realistically priced.
The bridge between buyer demand and housing supply is continuing to narrow, which, as we see, helps bring stability to home prices,” he said. “The trends in our housing market over the last couple of months offer a much more comfortable, historically normal set of conditions.”
Sales of detached properties declined eight per cent to 1,190 from the 1,293 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties declined 12.2 per cent from April 2008 to $675,268.
Sales of apartment properties in April 2009 declined 10.5 per cent to 1,179, compared to 1,317 sales in April 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 12.6 per cent from April 2008 to $340,203.
Attached property sales in April 2009 are down 2.3 per cent to 594, compared with the 608 sales in April 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 9.7 per cent between April 2008 and 2009 to $431,759.
Sales are rising as per the normal seasonal fluctuation. Sales are still at low levels compared to the previous four years.
Active listings have been held down because of the rise in sales and it seems that people are not listing as much this year as compared to last. We will see if that trend holds through the summer months.
With higher sales and lower listings the months of inventory has fallen to a normal seasonal level in 'balanced' market territory. If we see normal seasonal changes in sales and listings, it would appear that MOI will be flat to rising for the remainder of the year now. This will put more negative pressure on prices.
Several people have mentioned that the price increase witnessed in April was abnormally high and I would suggest that it is what should be expected given the level of MOI that was in the market during the month. The quarterly price change witnessed in April falls exactly on the trendline.
As mentioned earlier, I expect MOI to stay flat in May and rise for the remainder of the year and prices should fall if that is the case. We will see.