Mar 2018 Westside Market Update

Westside detached house supply this February jumped 17% from December (617 to 723) but is up 27% compared to 568 last February 2017. Westside detached home demand (sales) this February was up 18% from January (44 to 52) and up 19% compared to 37 sales last February 2017. This year, sales volumes are off 76% from sales in Feb. 2016 (pre foreign buyer tax).

The increase in demand has been offset by the increase in supply and has resulted in a decrease in Months of Supply (MOS) to 13.9, from 14 last month and 6.2 last February 2017. (Usually a balanced market is in the range between 4-5 & 6-7 MOS with prices rising below 4 MOS and falling above 7 MOS). At 13.9 MOS, prices should continue to drop but because we are coming from 14 MOS last month and the market is getting busier towards the spring, we are seeing a lift in the average price from $4.049M to $4.061M but a drop in the median from $3.65M to $3.459M. Both are still down 8.9% median & 10.5% avg. from the high in October 2017. If demand stays low, MOS will continue to be high and it will be hard for prices to remain at these levels.

The highest sale price for a Westside detached home in February was $17.388M. The lowest price was $1.83M. Of those sales, 7 received the asking price or more and 45 sold below the asking price.

Westside apartment supply increased 15% to 654 units in Feb from 568 in Jan. but this is down 3% from the 676 listings we had last February 2017. Demand increased 36.6% to 332 sales in February from 243 in January 2018 but again, this is down 10% from 369 sales last February 2017. MOS in Feb is 2 vs 2.3 in Jan and that is up from 1.8 last February 2017.  These levels are low but they are trending up and this has caused prices to hesitate with the average falling 9.7% from $1.199M in Jan. to $1.083M in Feb. and the median dropping slightly from $880K to $873K. Apartment prices were quite flat from April to Dec. 2017, only jumping up in January 2018 in the face of very low MOS so some of that jump has just been clawed back.

Westside townhouse supply increased 14% this February to 159 homes from 139 in January and up 35% from 118 in Feb. 2017.
Demand in February is up 83% to 44 units from 24 in Jan. and this is up 10% from the 40 sales last February 2017.
Supply up and demand up decreases the current MOS to 3.6, down 48% from 5.8 in Jan and up 20% from 3 last Feb 2017. Notwithstanding this decrease in MOS, average prices fell 20% to $1.431M from $1.792M in Jan. and were down 12% from $1.629M last Feb 2017. Median prices dropped 8.8% to $1.385M in February from $1.519M in Jan and this was down 6% from $1.477M last Feb 2017.

Detached & townhouse price reductions are now creating good buying opportunities. Detached house supply favours buyers while town homes are still undersupplied
Apartment prices have increased in the face of very low supply.
Government regulations here and in China continue to make it more difficult for foreign buyers to purchase real estate and that will create opportunities for local buyers. Interest rates, currency exchange, lending restrictions and negative press continues to dampen sales. The new provincial budget is a direct attack on home owners with policy specifically designed to diminish property values. Increased property transfer tax and a school tax surcharge for expensive homes will intimidate buyers, erode property values and do substantial damage to the equity of home owners in this area. These measures will make it particularly difficult for homeowners on fixed incomes to remain in their homes. Thanks to this budget, you will see your assessed values and the equity in your homes fall while your taxes increase. Maybe you should take a moment to contact your MLA and try to protect your retirement from taxation gone wild.

Click on the link at the top right for Westside Graphs.
Please call me at any time for a considered response to any and all of your real estate questions.

Spring ahead on March 11th!

Best regards,