Barry Thomas Bowen Island Real Estate

A great article written by:

Craig Munn

Manager, Communication
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

VANCOUVER, B.C. May 4, 2015 Strong home buyer demand coupled with below average home listing activity has created seller's market conditions within the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 4,179 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2015. This represents a 37 per cent increase compared to the 3,050 sales recorded in April 2014, and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to the 4,060 sales in March 2015.

Last month’s sales were 29.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“The supply of homes for sale today in the region is not meeting the demand we're seeing from home buyers. This is putting upward pressure on prices, particularly in the detached home market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,897 in April. This represents a 0.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,950 new listings reported in April 2014.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS® is 12,436, a 19.8 per cent decline compared to April 2014 and an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to March 2015.

“It’s a competitive and fast-moving market today that is tilted in favour of home sellers. To be competitive, it’s important to connect with a local REALTOR® who can help you develop a strategy to meet your home buying or selling needs,” McLeod said.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $673,000. This represents an 8.5 per cent increase compared to April 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in April was 33.6 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since June 2007.


Sales of detached properties in April 2015 reached 1,815, an increase of 35.9 per cent from the 1,336 detached sales recorded in April 2014, and a 70.6 per cent increase from the 1,064 units sold in April 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 12.5 per cent from April 2014 to $1,078,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,579 in April 2015, an increase of 34.7 per cent compared to the 1,172 sales in April 2014, and an increase of 50.1 per cent compared to the 1,052 sales in April 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.4 per cent from April 2014 to $394,200.

Attached property sales in April 2015 totalled 785, an increase of 44.8 per cent compared to the 542 sales in April 2014, and a 53.6 per cent increase from the 511 attached properties sold in April 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 5.7 per cent between April 2014 and 2015 to $493,300.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta. 


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An interesting article from BC Business:


"Good news for homeowners hoping their property value will go up (and bad news for buyers looking for a deal): a new forecast is calling for moderately higher sales and prices across B.C. for the next three years.
Central 1 Credit Union has increased its provincial pricing outlook, citing stronger population and economic growth. It predicts that the median resale house price in B.C. will end this year up about 1.5 per cent, at $388,000, and will increase steadily to $415,000 by 2016. That’s another 1.5-per-cent increase in 2014, followed by 2.5-per-cent bump in 2015 and three-per-cent hike in 2016. 
“We are past the bottom in terms of our housing market correction in the post-recession period,” says Central 1 economist Bryan Yu. The bottom was in 2012, when the number of home sales across the province was 63,798, compared to 71,737 the previous year. Central 1 predicts sales to reach 68,085 in 2013, 72,560 in 2014 and 83,750 in 2016.
While the growth appears significant, Yu says the sales level is moderate when the province’s growing population is taken into consideration. Central 1 forecasts B.C.’s population to increase by about one per cent annually, to reach 4.7 million by 2016. At the same time, it expects the B.C. economy to grow two per cent next year and 3.1 per cent in 2015.
“We see a relatively stable environment going forward in most areas,” says Yu. “There isn’t a catalyst for a substantial drop off in pricing.”
The Central 1 forecast comes amid predictions of a “soft landing” for Canada’s housing market from Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and several national economists. The Vancouver and Toronto markets are closely watched because they are among the biggest and the most expensive in Canada. “If any city is at risk of correcting, it’s pricey Vancouver,” says a recent report from BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri. It notes the Vancouver market has bounced back from a slowdown earlier this year. “Buyers held the upper hand last year, but the pendulum has swung towards balance today,” Guatieri says.
Central 1 predicts a stronger market for condos and townhomes as increasingly scarce, high-priced detached homes become even more out of reach for many homebuyers. Rental vacancy rates are also predicted to fall in 2015 and 2016, as more people turn to renting over buying. Central 1 expects the provincial vacancy rate to dip to 2.5 per cent in 2014 and down further to about 2.2 per cent by 2016.

According to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) report released December 18, condos made up 35 per cent of the owner-occupied housing stock in Vancouver in 2011, “the highest market share by far” among Canadian cities. Vancouver’s share of condo starts among all housing starts was also highest in 2012 at 64 per cent, compared to 59 per cent in Toronto and 58 per cent in Montreal, according to the CMHC report." - BC Business


Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Realtor

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Barry Thomas Living Bowen Contact info

November 2013 Market Update

October was a good month. The sun was shining, the Canucks had their best 7-game road trip in franchise history, and the housing market was strong. So far this fall, it seems as though house prices and sales have moved into a healthy balanced market in most parts of the province. Well-priced product sells while overpriced product sits. It's the way a market should be.

Moving into November, a few things from the past month have been interesting vis-à-vis the BC housing market. Firstly, the US government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis had a negligible effect on both the BC housing market and financial markets in general. It seems as though most people have already priced US government dysfunction into their decision-making process. So, barring a black-swan event, it seems as though these US crises' are unlikely to significantly swing the housing market in BC one way or another.

Secondly, the Bank of Canada has eased its language on raising rates and is now taking a more neutral stance, stating that the market will decide when the bank should raise interest rates. For the past year or so, most analysts had predicted that rates would be rising sooner rather than later. This sentiment has resulted in increased sales as buyers moved into the market ahead of an expected rate increase. With rates now stable, buyers will take their time, but will also still be in the market for a longer period.

Thirdly, while the US economy has had an anemic recovery from the 2008 recession, things are still improving. This is being led by the US real estate market, which is finally recovering from its 35-month peak-to-trough period which started in 2006. With an improving economy, comes improved consumer confidence, as Canadians hear more and more about positive trends south of the border.

While we likely won't see the exponential growth in prices that we experienced from 2009-2010, the factors described above imply that BC's real estate market should remain relatively stable for the foreseeable future.

Finally, on another note, Macdonald Realty has been producing a great quarterly magazine showcasing BC's finest real estate. If you're interested in having your home profiled in this publication, please contact me at the address below. You can find a link to the first 3 digital editions of the magazine here:

Home Price Index Graph

*This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.

*Although this information has been received from sources deemed reliable, we assume no responsibility for its accuracy, and without offering advice, make this submission to prior sale or lease, change in price or terms, and withdrawal without notice.
**Should you not wish to receive this communication, please reply to this email with "Please Unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Licensed Real Estate Broker

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.