February 2018 North Shore Real Estate Market Update
Buyer activity dropped across all property types in February while inventory levels slowly increased.
In North Vancouver total sales decreased 23.5 per cent from February 2017, led by townhomes and single family houses, down 35.7 per cent and 34.1 per cent respectively. Apartment sales also decreased, down 8.3 per cent, reversing the trend of 6 straight months of increases.
At the same time, new listings increased 10.9 per cent and total active MLS® listings to month-end were up 16 per cent. This resulted in greater balance to some segments of the market, though in general inventory levels are trailing demand. For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2018 was 32.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 17.9 per cent for detached homes, 39.1 per cent for townhomes, and 62.4 per cent for apartments.
In West Vancouver total sales were down 26.8 per cent from February 2017 with just 41 sales across all property types for the month. Single family homes rebounded from January with 24 sales (up from 15), yet sales were 65 per cent below the 10 year February average (69 house sales).
New listings increased 36.9 per cent and total active MLS® listings to month-end were up 23 per cent. For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2018 was 7 per cent indicating a buyer’s market. By property type, the ratio is 4.9 per cent for detached homes, 9.1 per cent for townhomes, and 19.4 per cent for apartments.
What we are seeing + hearing. The changes to mortgage qualification requirements and increased interest rates have decreased purchasing power. This likely played a role in the drop in sales in February and will be felt more in the months ahead. Despite this, there are still a number of buyers actively looking, yet unable to find suitable homes. Part of this is sellers who have taken a wait and see approach not wanting to list in the uncertainty of the New Year’s market. The other part is the product of appreciation and the resulting price gaps of homes available to meet buyer’s budgets. The Spring is typically a busier season for new listings and should bring more selection, though this will continue to be an issue unless inventories rise significantly and prices adjust.
The Budget. On Feb 20th as part of the 2018 BC Budget the provincial government introduced a speculation tax, and increased the property transfer and foreign buyer taxes. Finance Minister Carol James is quoted as saying the goal of the new taxes is to induce a decline in home prices. The new taxes increase the cost to foreign buyers and buyers of high end homes, and all things being equal, in the long term should result in a decrease in prices. The taxes were introduced late in the month, so it is hard to say if they had an impact on February listings and sales. Anecdotally we’ve heard of buyers not removing subjects or cancelling plans to purchase as a result. At the very least, in the short term the new taxes are infusing uncertainty, which typically tempers buyer confidences and accelerates a shift.
Moving forward, if you are buying and selling in the same market don’t worry about overall trends and focus on what’s best for your lifestyle. If you are selling, take advantage of the conditions we have and don’t try to time the market. If buying, buy with a long term outlook and anticipate there may be some volatility in prices.
As always, if you have any questions about our North and West Vancouver real estate market review, and if we can help by providing information or assist with a purchase or sale we’d be pleased to hear from you Since 1979 we’ve helped over 3,500 clients buy and sell and we would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your goals. We can be reached at 604.983.2518.
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February 2018 STATS
NORTH VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE MARKET
STATS + TRENDS // February 2018
|North Vancouver Listings and Sales Stats|
|Average Sale Price [SF] ($)||1,740,000||1,627,500||6.9|
|Days on Market||11||9||22.2|
WEST VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE MARKET
STATS + TRENDS // February 2018
|West Vancouver Listings and Sales Stats|
|Average Sale Price [SF] ($)||2,855,000||3,210,000||-11.1|
|Days on Market||18||17||5.9|
To read the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's February 2018 Stats report click here >
To watch the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's February 2018 Stats video click here >
* Stats/Trends Source: Sales, listings, and price data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
**Days on Market and Average Sale Price are calculated as the Median amount. Medians not available for periods with less than 20 sales