Housing Market Cools as Westside House sales Fall

Typically in most years our Real Estate Market sees an acceleration of real estate activity in March over February. This year we saw sales actually cool in March with sales of detached properties down from 177 units in February to just 152 units in March. That’s a decrease in sales activity of 14%.

This cooling trend ( in my opinion ) looks to be caused by a decrease in the number of Immigrant buyers in the market place. Last year saw a huge influx of buyers from Mainland China. This year it feels like there are far fewer of these buyers out there. If we take the Immigrant buyers out of the market place on the Westside, there seems to be very few local buyers chasing homes listed for sale above $ 2.5 million.

The supply of homes seems to be creeping higher with the number of homes up about 10% from last month to 854 units. We are far above last year’s inventory levels when we saw just 525 homes for sale at the end of March. From one year ago there are 62% more homes on the market on Vancouver’s West Side.

Based on the Inventory of Houses compared to the number of sales we have 5.62 month’s supply home homes for sale. This compares to just 1.88 month’s supply a year ago. Market Conditions have gone from a Seller’s Market last year to a Balanced Market this year.

Compared to last year the market feels slow. 

The condo and townhome market is also experiencing a slow down with market conditions in a Balanced State.

Here is how the specific numbers stack up:

Vancouver Westside Detached

-          In March 2012 there were 152 home sold versus 270 last year. Sales are down 45% !
Year to dates house sales are down from 655 units last year to 415 this year. A decline of 36%

-          As at March 31st there were 854 homes for sale compared to 525 a year ago. An increase of 62%

-          There were 5.62 months supply at March 31st versus 1.88 months supply last year.


Vancouver Westside Attached ( Condos & Townhomes)

-          Town Home sales were down 38% and Condo sales were down 32% in March 2012 versus March 2011

-          Year to date sales of Town homes are down 35% and condos are down 23%

-          As at March 31st there were 21% more town homes and 11% more condos listed for sale versus 1 year ago

-          There were 5.72 month’s supply as at March 31st this year versus 2.88 months last year of town homes

-          There were 4.8 month’s supply as at March 31st this year versus 2.92 months last year of condos.

-          Both the Condo and Townhome markets remain balanced and not nearly as affected by the decline of Immigrant Buyers


It looks as though 2012 is going to be a year where we see the Real Estate Market on the Westside drift along in a sideways pattern. If sales continue to stay soft and supply continues to grow we could see prices begin to soften. That being said, in certain pockets of the Westside certain homes in specific neighborhoods still sell quickly ( many with multiple offers ) over the asking price. Building Lots, Lot Value properties still appear to be properties in the highest demand.  Homes in Kitsilano, Douglas Park, Mackenzie Hts, Point Grey and Dunbar priced under $ 2 million are still in high demand.

If you have any questions about the Real Estate Market, would like a complimentary market update or simply have any comments, I am always available to be of assistance. I will always respond  ( quickly )to direct calls to my mobile at 604-657-7936 or via email.

Happy Spring to All

Andrew Hasman


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