#VanRE continues buzzing along

The Greater Vancouver market continues to buzz along as we near the end of what will be remembered as a pretty historic year. Sales volume has dipped down on a month over month basis, but it is still well above the historical average for the month of November. And at 3.6 months of inventory, supply and demand continues to sit in seller’s market territory.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The above table shows us the main statistical categories that I start from when evaluating market conditions. And they’re simple: sales, listings, months of inventory, and benchmark price. But as I mentioned in the previous edition of this blog, the real magic in the stats shown above is M.O.I. – months of inventory.

< 4 = sellers market (upward push on prices);

4 to 6 = balanced market (stable prices);

> 6 = buyers market (downward push on prices);

November sales totalled 3064, which was a 16.9% decease from October, but the impressive thing is that they remained over the 3000 mark. If you look at sales numbers on a month over month basis for the whole of the year, you will see that the November sales figures are right up there with the strong summer months.

The 3064 sales are also the 2nd highest amount for the month of November in the last 10 years -- 24.6% above the 10 year average.

Next let’s take a look at the total number of listings for the month of November, which equaled 11118. So even though sales dropped nearly 17%, listings also fell at a similar rate, which in turn kept the months of inventory relatively unchanged, creeping up only slightly to 3.6 MOI.

The benchmark price dipped by 0.1% on a month over month basis, but is up 5.8% since a year ago. The more interesting stat to me is the fact that detached, single family home prices are up 9.4%... nearly 10% in a year. This is very significant.

This continues to support the thesis that there is a mass exodus out of the downtown core and condos in general. With interest rates at record lows, including HSBC offering the first over sub-1% mortgage rate in an effort to lure in new business, folks are buying up freehold non-strata! …which is what is driving force behind the current surge in the market.

Of course, it’s not just the record low interest rates. The shift to working from home is also reshaping the housing market. There is no stronger evidence of this than what is happening on the Sunshine Coast. Sales in the region are up 82.8% over last November. An absolutely staggering figure.

However, I also believe that the lack of international travel is driving up demand in this region. There has definitely been a surge in demand for local vacation properties, both from an end-user as well as an investor level.

I have definitely felt this personally, as several of my past clients have reached out inquiring into vacation properties and their financial viability. The Sunshine Coast also has a history of being reliant on short term rental income for many years now, making it attractive to both the investor crowd, as well as the “I no longer need to live on the mainland to work” crowd.

From a boots-on-the ground perspective, most agents I talk to say they are busy. You can tell that they are genuine when they say this because they actually sound happy, lol. As much as there is this public perception that all Realtors are high rollers, the reality is that there is only a small percentage that are responsible for the vast majority of the sales. So when high producers sound tired on the phone, that is another tell-tail sign that it’s been a busy year.

I also think that COVID has accelerated a changing of the guard in the business, but that is a story for another day.

So the market continues to outperform the historical average for the month, as we sit inside sellers market territory. Prices of detached homes are up 9.4% since a year ago, with the sluggish condo market keeping the month over month, overall benchmark price relatively flat over the last 8 months. But overall, it’s busy, folks. Especially for November.

Marty Majerski