Blog by Ann Hickey

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April Newsletter

Blooming and Booming Market Overview

It’s spring and there seems to be no end in sight as home prices continue to blossom.  The overall sales for Metro Vancouver are up 53.7% compared to those in March, 2014.  Low mortgage rates and an increase of population coming to British Columbia are major factors to our real estate boom.

Spring inventory across Metro Vancouver has tightened and active listings for the North Shore and Vancouver have dropped since March of last year. “The number of homes for sale today is below what’s typical for this time of year,” said Darcy McLeod, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.  “If you’ve been considering putting your property on the market, these market conditions indicate that now may be a good time to list.”

While active listings are down 19%, the gross sales in North Vancouver were up an astounding 71% over last year at this time. The benchmark price for new home sale is $1,111,200, up 14.8% from the past year. North Vancouver sales have been swift with 381 units sold year to date which is an increase of 35% compared to last year.

West Vancouver has seen significant growth in the average price per unit sold compared to one year ago. While the benchmark price is up 12.5% to $2,183,700, West Vancouver has seen a dip in gross sales from last month. Again, the market inventory has minimized and that has created a bump in housing prices.

“We’re seeing strong competition amongst home buyers today. This is leading to more multiple offer situations and some upward pressure on home prices,” said McLeod, “For sellers, this means that it's taking less time, on average, for your home to sell if you have it priced correctly for today's market."

Vancouver West remains strong with an 8% increase in sales year to date and a 12.3% increase in the benchmark price. Active listings are down 9% but the benchmark price is up to $2,447,700, indicating that Vancouver’s housing market continues to flourish.

As the market continues to thrive in the spring sunshine, if you are thinking of buying or selling a home give me a call, I’d love to help. 

MARKET OVERVIEW: Residential Detached

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
North Vancouver
March 2015 March 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $260,012,517 $151,260,538 71%
Units Listed 237 189 25%
Units Sold 189 134 41%
Sold- Year to Date 381 282 35%
Avg Price/Unit $1,375,727 $1,128.809 21%
Active Listings 274 340 -19%
Benchmark Price $1,111,200 $966.200 14.8%
Price Index (HPI) 176.9 154.2 14.8%

West Vancouver
March 2015 March 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $285,791,190 $151,333,285 88%
Units Listed 182 141 29%
Units Sold 101 61 65%
Sold- Year to Date 266 168 58%
Avg Price/Unit $2,829,615 $2,480,873 14%
Active Listings 488 484 0%
Benchmark Price $2,183,700 $1,933,500 12.5%
Price Index (HPI) 207.6 184.1 12.5%

Vancouver West
March 2015 March 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $639,425,617 $381,807,944 67%
Units Listed 306 300 2%
Units Sold 209 147 42%
Sold- Year to Date 475 436 8%
Avg Price/Unit $3,059,452 $2,597,332 17%
Active Listings 739 813 -9%
Benchmark Price $2,447,700 $2,176,300 12.3%         
Price Index (HPI) 251.3 223.6 12.3%
Benchmark Price: Estimated sale price of a typical property, based on a set of common qualities of homes within each market.
Price Index (HPI): Index numbers estimate the percentage change in price on typical and constant quality properties over time. All figures are based on past sales.

It’s A Numbers Game-The Superstition of Numbers
Superstition regarding specific numbers can play a big role in the real estate market these days. From how people price their homes, which home addresses they will or won’t consider to how developers name floors of buildings all are being affected by long standing superstitions about numbers.

In Chinese culture, whether a number is considered auspicious or not typically depends on whether the number’s name sounds similar to other words.  For instance, the number 8 is considered one of the luckiest numbers because it’s pronounced closely to the Chinese word for wealth and prosperity. It’s not unusual, therefore, to find homes for sale in Metro Vancouver with the number 8 strategically placed in the price.

Lucky number 6 means “fluid”, “happiness” or “blessings”. The number name for 9 has long been connected to the Emperor of China and similar to the word for “long lasting”.  Number 7 is often thought of as Las Vegas’ lucky number but it also can be traced back to referencing God’s making of the universe in 7 days as well as the 7 wonders of the world.

The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm local time.

But not all numbers are so lucky. Number 4 is one of the most feared numbers in Chinese culture as it sounds like the Chinese word for death.  In Japan, 49 is considered to be an especially unlucky number because it sounds similar to the phrase which means “pain until death”. Many of us have a fear of the number 13. All over the world, cultures are choosing a different folklore tale for why 13 is an especially unlucky number.

Numbers can help or hinder home sales depending on the homes address. Many developers have opted to skip the 4th and 13th floors entirely when constructing new buildings. Some home buyers won’t even consider a home if the address has any of the above mentioned “unlucky numbers” in the street address.

Nicole M. Fortin, a professor at UBC’s School of Economics and her team analyzed almost 117,000 house sales in Metro Vancouver between 2000 and 2005. They found that homes with addresses ending in unlucky number 4 were sold at a 2.2 % discount, while those with addresses ending in lucky "8" were sold at a 2.5% premium.  In today’s hot real estate market, it really is a numbers game.

Hot Properties

March 2015 Which properties sold in your area in under 5 days? North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver Westside Detached Dwellings

North Vancouver

West Vancouver

Vancouver Westside