Real Estate Report Greater Vancouver Area

Blog by Arnold Shuchat | July 7th, 2013

Every month the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver sends out a survey to its member Realtors requesting information about the transactions they did.  I tracked back to the last quarter of 2012 starting in September to see if anything noticeable stood out in the numbers, which do fluctuate monthly.  Below are the nuggets I am taking out of the data:

1. The number of couples with no children who were buyers declined from 16.5% to 12.6%
2. Retired buyers as a category fell by 33% from 7.5% to 5.5%
3. Deals collapsing over financing: This number has balanced out from late 2012 when more agents felt that deals were collapsing due to financing than those that felt otherwise, to today when less agents report that phenomenon.

Now here is an interesting number for all of the doom and gloomers (and I am not opining here, just reporting).  One would think that the days of multiple offers on properties would be a thing of the past given the change in market sentiment since 2011.  However, the ratio of the number of "yesses" to "nos" in response to the question of whether there are more multiple offers has run as follows monthly since September 2012 through to April of this year:

  .06   .09   .06   .16   .29   .48  .71   .52

It is clear that multiple offers which are the hallmark of an "interesting" real estate market have not gone away.  In my mind more realistic property pricing since the last quarter of 2012 has made an impact on transactional behavior. 

As for the shifting demographics in points #s 1 & 2 above, it is reasonable for young people to be getting spooked by recent price adjustments and the changed mortgage environment.  I also have noticed in my practice that a good number of retirees are just leaving the apartments and townhouses and moving into seniors' residences.  This unforunately can be seen in the number of vacant units for sale owned by seniors.