In an uncertain housing market, July’s numbers came in like a breath of fresh air. “Metro Vancouver saw a bump in housing sales as pricing continue to stabilize,” said Vancouver Townhouse Realtor Ariane Benjamin.
According to the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), while sales are still 7.8% below the ten year average, sales in July 2019 were actually up 23.5% over July 2018.
“People are trying to weigh the pros and cons, which is a perfectly reasonable approach when you’re looking at one of the biggest investments in your life,” says Ariane. “At this point, people are choosing to jump into the market because of the combination of low interest rates, increased selection, and reduced prices—comparatively speaking—which have made conditions more favourable.”
What’s interesting is that despite the bump, housing prices are still stabilizing. It’s not the apocalyptic drop-off some had predicted, but rather a slow slide towards greater affordability.
For example, the benchmark price in July for a detached home across the region was $1.4 million, down about 10.5% year over year. For condos, the benchmark price was $653,200, down 8.8% from July last year.
The price drops vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, with luxury real estate taking the biggest hit. In some cases, the drops hit double-digit territory, most notably on Vancouver’s west side, which declined by 13.6%, followed by West Vancouver at 12.5%. Other noticeable drops in detached housing prices included South Burnaby at 12.3%, North Burnaby at 11.7%, East Vancouver at 11.3%, and East Burnaby at 10.8%.
The trickle-down effect has also taken hold with Vancouver townhouses and condos, echoing similar regional decreases. The only areas to see a price increase in detached houses were Whistler (7.1%) and Squamish (0.4%).
Although there were 3.3% fewer new listings added in July versus the same year prior, inventory on the market continues to pile up, meaning there will be more choice for home buyers and more opportunities for negotiation.
“At present, the market is balanced,” says Ariane. “People have come to terms with the tighter credit environment and the stress test. As the market continues to stabilize, people are trying to assess how favourable market conditions are now compared to what they could be in the future. For example, what happens if house prices slide, but then interest rate goes up? These are questions we’re all grappling with. It’s important to examine data and trends when buying or selling and then act accordingly.”
LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL A TOWNHOUSE IN 2019?
As an experienced townhouse realtor in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin has been tracking and studying townhouse sales and neighbourhood trends for over 15 years. Her one-on-one approach to buying and selling emphasizes a customer-first attitude and allows her to deliver results and value. Call (604) 779-1500 to set up a complimentary consultation with Ariane today.