The following is a summary of stats released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Most of it is specific to detached houses on the Westside of Vancouver.
Housing Price Index
Number of Sales
Number of New Listings
Total Active Listings (includes condos)
Total Sales (Includes condos)
EVERYTHING is down -- sales volume, listing count, and prices. This is an unusual situation, and, short of Vancouver becoming a ghost town, it is impossible for all three of these things to continue trending in the same directly. At least one of these has to go up.
The latest change is that we now officially have a trend of a decreasing supply of properties. We're not in short supply of houses YET, but the listing counts are definitely marching steadily down!
As I said last month, the trend of sales going down cannot continue indefinitely -- Vancouver has a positive net migration, people have children, people get married, children move out, people die, people get divorced..... (although not necessarily in that order!)
Vancouver, and in fact Canada in general, is actually in much better shape than the News would have you believe. We had a 3rd quarter GDP growth of 1.3%, and retails sales in BC were up 1% in September as well. BC also has the lowest foreclosure rate in Canada. And even in the US, sales volume on "Black Friday" -- which was forecasted to be way down -- was UP 6%.
Mortgage rates are also at all-time lows, and are expected to go even lower this month. You can currently get a 5-year mortgage at 4.8%, and variable is available at prime (currently 4%).
As an interesting note, a secured line of credit from National Bank is available at prime (4%) and a 3-year GIC from BMO is available at 4.3%. So you can now personally borrow money from one bank, and then lend it to another bank, and make a profit. Never mind those smart people who locked in a line-of-credit at Prime-1 (3%!!!) over the summer, and who could now be making a profit of 1.3%/year without using any of their own capital at all. What an interesting opportunity! 1.3% per year!
If you had bought a house in Vancouver in 1978, you would have paid about $75,000. Today, even after the market "crash", that same house would be worth about $750,000. That's a 1000% increase, or over 33% per year. (Even with compounding, that's still over 8% per year.) Hmmm.... Which would you rather.... 1.3% or 33%?