Residential Property Sales in Metro Vancouver
Attached and apartment homes are in demand across Metro Vancouver while detached home buyers are facing less competition today. According to the REBGV, residential home sales in the region totalled 1,818 in January 2018, a 19.4% increase from January 2017 (1,523), and a 9.8% decrease compared to December 2017 (2,016).
The current benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,056,500, representing a 16.6% increase from January 2017, and a 0.6% increase from December 2017.
Detached properties saw 487 sales in January 2018, a 9.7% increase from the 444 sales in January 2017. The current benchmark price for a detached property is $1,601,500; an 8.3% increase from last January. There were 1,012 apartment properties sold in January 2018, a 22.7% increase from the 825 sales in January 2017. The current benchmark price for an apartment property is $665,400; a 27.4% increase from last January. 319 attached homes were sold in January 2018, representing a 25.6% increase from January 2017. The current benchmark price for an attached property is $803,700; a 17.5% increase from last January.
January 2018’s sales were 7.1% above the 10-year January sales average. By property type, detached sales were down 24.8% from the 10-year January average, attached sales increased 14.3% and apartment sales were up 31.6% over the same period.
“Demand remains elevated and listings scarce in the attached and apartment markets across Metro Vancouver,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “Buyers in the detached market are facing less competition and have much more selection to choose. For detached home sellers to be successful, it’s important to set prices that reflect today’s market trends.”
There were 3,796 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2018; an 8.3% decrease January 2017 (4,140) and a 100.7% increase from December 2017 (1,891).
As of January 2018, the sales-to-active listings ratio by property type is 11.6% for detached homes, 32.8% for attached properties, and 57.2% for apartments and condominiums. Across all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio is 26.2%, a decrease from 29% in December 2017. For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2018 is 26.2%. By property type, the ratio is 11.6% for detached homes, 32.8% for townhomes, and 57.2% for condominiums.
Analysts say that home prices face downward pressure when the sales-to-active listings ratio is 12% or lower for a sustained period, while home prices face upward pressure when the ratio is 20% or higher for a sustained period.
Sales down and values up in Lower Mainland commercial real estate
In Q3 2017, commercial real estate sales saw a decrease across all categories from the record-setting Q3 2016 levels. Based on Commercial Edge data (commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver), there were 715 sales in Q3 2016, compared to 652 sales in Q3 2017, representing an 8.8% decrease in the commercial real estate sale. These reductions were most pronounced in land and industrial sales.
“While there have been fewer commercial sales this year compared to 2016, activity remains in line with the long-term average for the region,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said.
The total dollar value of Lower Mainland commercial real estate sales increased by 16.1% to $3.270 billion in Q3 2017 from $2.815 billion in Q3 2016.
On the pricing side, dollar values for commercial properties have climbed about 16% in the last year. This growth can be attributed, in part, to the extended economic growth we’ve been experiencing across a variety of sectors in our province.” said Oudil.
Vancouver's Secondary Rentals
Fifty three per cent of Vancouver residents rent their homes and it would be easy to assume that those renters are living in dense, central and mid-rise neighbourhoods such as the West End. You might also assume that the so-called "single family home" areas are pretty much exclusive to homeowners.
But new data shows that renters are distributed around the city at levels that go against stereotypes. West Point Grey, with its big, expensive detached houses, is 38 per cent renter households. Kerrisdale is 36.8 per cent renters. Shaughnessy, with its stock of old and new mansions, is made up of 30 per cent renters.
Urban planner Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University's City Program, analyzed the new 2016 census data and charted his findings.
"Before I did this, I would have guessed 10 per cent tops, in some of these neighbourhoods, because you do have these clusters of rentals scattered around. I wouldn't have guessed the minimum is 22 per cent, never mind way more than that in West Point Grey."
The data serve to remind us that residential zoning doesn't necessarily reflect the way people are living in those neighbourhoods, Mr. Yan says. For example, he says 24 per cent of all renter households are living in the so-called "single family home" areas that provide an "invisible affordability often ignored by development pundits."
That means that in terms of planning, we should be sensitive to how people are actually using housing types, he says. Zoning changes can be the ruin of an established community. It's not enough to rezone without examining how that housing is being used, and by whom – not if the goal is to create affordable housing while keeping people within the community.
No matter where people stand on Vancouver's housing crisis, everyone agrees we need a lot more purpose-built rental housing.
Not surprisingly, the biggest renter populations are east of Main Street, but not necessarily in areas known for residential towers. Historic Strathcona, with its gentle density, multifamily RT-zoned housing, is 80 per cent renters – the same as the West End.
Grandview-Woodland comprises 62.3 per cent renters. Not surprisingly, Marpole, with its significant apartment building stock, is 61.6 per cent renter households. And Fairview, with its multi-family stock, is 61 per cent. Kitsilano, a neighbourhood with a mix of low density housing types, is 54.3 per cent.
The zoning may say it's "single family," but in reality, many of those houses are being used as rental and they might be housing extended families, or multiple families. For that reason, there's a strong argument that the term "single-family neighbourhoods" should be phased out entirely. The term better belongs to an era of Vancouver when "family" meant nuclear family.
Former city planning director Brent Toderian, who oversaw the city's laneway-house program, believes that the allowance of secondary suites and laneway houses led to increased rental households in west side neighbourhoods. But he says there's a desperate need for purpose-built rental because it's far more secure housing than secondary rental units. A renter in a building designed exclusively for rentals isn't at the mercy of a fickle homeowner.
And certain housing types are more conducive to secondary rental than others. Duplexes are more of an ownership model, for example. For that reason, he is opposed to the idea of stratifying laneway houses, and making them available for ownership.
David Hutniak, chief executive officer of Landlord BC, represents a lot of west side landlords with secondary suites. Secondary rental units – ones that are not purpose built – make up about 54 per cent of the rental market, Mr. Hutniak says.
"The rental housing industry in B.C. is disproportionately represented by the secondary market. That's why we are active proponents of purpose-built rental to be developed."
Sourced/edited from The Globe & Mail