A Tale of Two Markets
Over the past year or so we have seen our residential real estate market split in two distinct sub-markets: houses on the one hand, and apartments and townhouses on the other.
Government actions designed to cool the ultra-hot high-end market (and protect borrowers from taking on too much debt) have had the desired effects. Detached house prices and related demand have stabilized, while lower-priced condos and townhouses are still in high demand.
In North Vancouver, the detached house Benchmark Price is only 0.4% higher than a year ago. But apartments are up 15.9% in the same period. In West Van, the house Benchmark is down 6.3%; apartments up 10.9%
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that “First-time home buyers have led a surge this summer in demand in our condominium and townhome markets. Homes priced between $350,000 and $750,000 have been subject to intense competition and multiple offers across the region.”
Detached houses are still selling, but in a more balanced market than we have seen for a while.
Call me for current details on your neighbourhood activity and trends.
Low Condo Inventory
In spite of the staggering amount of construction activity we see every day and the number of land assemblies underway, a report by the Urban Development Institute says there are almost no move-in ready condos in the metro Vancouver area.
The report, released on September 12th, says the number of complete and move-in-ready apartments in concrete buildings at the end of June was zero in the City of Vancouver, and just 23 across all of the metro region.
The picture for wood-frame construction condos was similar, with just 8 move-in-ready units available in the region, and there were just 19 townhomes.
These numbers reflect the reality that most multi-family housing built in the region is pre-sold. There are plenty of pre-sales and partially built units for sale, but the extremely low levels of finished inventory indicate that supply is certainly not keeping up with demand – even with the overwhelming amount of construction.
These indicators point to continued upward price pressure on condos and townhouses in the region.