Steve Baldwin

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Market Update September 2011

Consistent increases in property listings and fewer home sales over the summer months has helped move the Greater Vancouver housing market into the upper end of a buyers’ market, but remains relatively balanced.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales (units) of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s MLS® increased 1.2% in September, compared to September 2010. Those sales rank as the third lowest total for September over the last 10 years.

“There's more competition amongst home sellers in today's market, providing more options for prospective buyers," Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said "Buyers now have more properties to choose from and more time to make decisions compared to the spring season.” However there are a few exceptions in some areas and home types; Vancouver Westside, Richmond and West Vancouver detached properties.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver for September, is the third highest volume for September in 17 years. This represents a 20.1% increase compared to September 2010 and a 21% increase compared to August 2011.

The number of properties listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® has increased each month since the beginning of the year. Listings on the MLS® increased 4.6% in September compared to August 2011 and rose 4.4% compared to this time last year.

“Our sales-to-active-listing ratio currently sits at 14%, which is the lowest it’s been this year. Generally analysts say that a buyer’s market takes shape when the ratio dips to about 12 to 14%, or lower, for a sustained period of time,” Setticasi said. Again this is trend is not reflected in all sub areas of Greater Vancouver *.

The Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark (average) price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 8.8% to $627,994 in September 2011 from $577,174 in September 2010.

Examples:                                Detached                      Attached                       Apt./Condo

*Vancouver Westside                $2,030,720 +24.5%        $841,990 +9.5%            $526,026 +5.8%

*North Vancouver               $973,469 +11.1%           $617,579 +0.4%            $377,261 -1.6%

*West Vancouver               $1,716,247 +18.9%        not sufficient data         $733,981 +15.8%

*Burnaby                       $949,389 +23.1%           $501,257 +3.4%            $370,244 +5.5%

*Coquitlam                                $725,525 +3.2%            $473,694 +8.1%            $289,924 -0.9%

Since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the average price for all residential properties in the region has declined 0.5 per cent.

Sales (units) of detached (single family) properties increased 10.5% from September 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.4% from September 2010 to $896,701.

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Sales (units) of apartment/condo properties decreased 5% compared to September 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.4% from September 2010 to $405,569.

Attached property (duplex / townhomes) sales (units) in September 2011 decreased 4.2% compared to September 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 5.4% between September 2010 and 2011 to $516,697.

The Bank of Canada Rate remains unchanged at 3% and both variable and fixed mortgage interest rates continue to be at historical lows. The fragile health of our Canadian economy and the acceptable Consumer Index inflation rate continues to support the Government’s monetary policy. Greater Vancouver enjoys a stable economy and a continued influx of new residents both domestic and international. The current easing of upward pressure on home prices is good for all participating in home ownership and renews opportunity for those wishing to engage home ownership.

If your not a real estate speculator and committed to home ownership on a medium or long term basis then if it’s the “perfect” home and purchased at  a fair prevailing market price, anytime is a good time to invest in a home! As history shows (see the attached graph) the market will pay dividends!

Please call or e-mail me with any questions with regard to this report or any other real estate topics that interest you!

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