May 2019 Westside Market Update

The supply of Westside detached homes in May was 727, down 1.4% from 737 in April and down 15% compared to 850 in May 2018.  
Westside detached home sales this May increased 36% from April (83 v 61) and were down 7% compared to 89 sales in May 2018. Sales are down 50% from the 10 year May average of 165 sales. 
Months of Supply, (MOS) was down 28% from last month to 8.8 and down 8% from 9.6 in May 2018. (Usually a balanced market is in the range between 4-7 MOS with prices rising below 4 MOS and falling above 7 MOS). This downward trend in MOS has caused the average detached home price to increase 3% to $3.2M and the median price to decrease 5% to $2.85M. However the price increases are not sustainable.  If demand stays low, MOS will stay high and we should see downward pressure on prices. Current prices are still down 29% on average & 26% on median from the peak in 2017.
The highest sale price for a Westside detached home in May was $9.8M. It was on the market for 486 days before it sold. The lowest price was $1.2M. It was on the market for 3 days before it sold. Of the 83 May sales, 10 received the asking price or more and 73 sold below the asking price. The implication is that with a sufficiently attractive (low) asking price we can still generate multiple offers.

Westside apartment supply decreased 2% to 1687 units from 1716 units in April and this is up 48% from the 1137 listings we had in May 2018. At the same time, demand increased (319 sales v. 233 sales in April) and this is down 10% from 356 sales in May 2018.
The result is MOS in May is down 28% to 5.3 from 7.4 in April and up 66% from 3.2 last May 2018.
The average price remained decreased 3% to $860K v. $890K in April and was down 15% from May 2018. The median price decreased 2% to $720K from $733K in April and is down 9% from last May. Both average and median prices are down by 28% & 18% from the peak of $1.199M and $880K in January 2018.

Westside townhouse supply increased 3% this May to 338 homes from 328 in April and that's up 33% from 255 in May 2018. Demand in May is up 25% to 55 sales from 44 in April and unchanged from 56 sales last May 2018.
With both supply and demand up, the current MOS decreased to 6.1 from 7.5 in April but that is an increase of 33% from 4.6 in May 2018.
Townhouse average prices decreased 11% ($1.31 v $1.48K) and were down 16% from $1.57M last May 2018. Median prices decreased 13% to $1.265M from $1.457M in April and are down 16% from $1.53M in May 2018. 

Detached, Attached and Apartments on the west side are for the most part still experiencing price reductions and that is creating good buying opportunities. Many buyers continue holding off in anticipation of further declines in 2019.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region dropped 29.1% to 1829 this April from 2,579 sales in April 2018. March sales were 43.1% below the 10-year April sales Average.
The total number of properties currently offered on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is up 46.2% from April 2018 to 14,357. This is up 12.4% from last month.
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2019 is 12.7%.
Downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12% mark for a sustained period, while upward pressure occurs when it surpasses 20% over several months.
Currently, most older homes are selling well below assessed value even with the new lower assessments. Newer or unique homes are selling around assessed value and slightly higher.
The reduced demand we are seeing is due in a large part to political interference from all 3 levels of government and include increased taxes, lending constraints and bureaucratic delays and red tape. These impediments to real estate buyers and sellers are doing nothing to create more affordable housing or to increase the supply of rental housing. The need for shelter does not go away and Vancouver remains a desirable place to live so stifling buyers with these policy changes is merely delaying local demand and disrupting the real estate cycle that was already into a downturn of its own accord. 
I agree with Real Estate Board president Ashley Smith who said that Government policy continues to hinder home sales activity. The federal governments mortgage stress test has reduced buyer's purchasing power by about 20%, which is causing entry level buyers to struggle to secure financing. Suppressing home sales through government policy not only reduces the number of sales, it also harms the job market, decreases economic growth and creates pent up demand all of which are negative outcomes and contrary to the stated goal of creating affordable housing.

Click on the tab "Vancouver Westside Stats" for all the Westside Graphs.
Please call me at any time for a considered response to any and all of your real estate questions.

Best regards and Happy Father's Day,