Blog by Ann Hickey

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June Newsletter

Market Overview - May, 2015

Enthusiasm lingers as eager home buyers show no sign of slowing down. Real estate prices continued to rise in May, despite a well-documented shortage of listings.  In Vancouver, the average price of a detached home hit $1,104,900, up 14% from last year.

Detached, attached and apartment listings in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,641 in May. This represents a 5% decrease compared to the 5,936 new listings reported in May 2014.

“We continue to see strong competition for homes that are priced right for today’s market,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “It’s important to remember that real estate is hyper local, particularly in a seller’s market. This means that conditions and prices vary depending on property type, neighbourhood, and other factors."

In one year, North Vancouver saw a 32% increase in the average price from $1,080,383 to $1,433,819. In May, 2014 we saw 398 active listings on the market and as of May 1, 2015 there was a 36% drop to 254. The Home Price Index climbed 17% in the past year in North Vancouver and the benchmark price rose over the million dollar mark from $994,400 to $1,167,800.

West Vancouver was no different with a decrease of 7% in units listed compared with May, 2014.  Listings may be light in numbers but the overall gross sales were up 35% and the benchmark price rose 13.7% from $2,009,200 to $2,291,000.

As always, Vancouver was soaring with a 28% increase of gross sales over last year. While the benchmark price for a home on Vancouver’s Westside increased by 14.4% in one year, the active listings in the past 12 months has dropped 23%. Active listings went from 884 last year to 679 as of May 1, 2015. The median price for existing detached homes sold last month hit new highs of $2.88-million on Vancouver’s Westside and $1.2-million on the East side – up 25.8% and 26.3%, respectively, over the past year.

“While the supply of homes for sale remains below what’s typical for this time of year, our region continues to offer a diverse selection of housing options at different price points,” McLeod said. “This diversity within the housing stock is part of what’s driving today’s home sale activity.”
The market is challenging and always changing.  There is something for everyone and when you are ready to buy or sell your home give me a call, I’d love to help.

Ann Hickey
604 220-6249

MARKET OVERVIEW: Residential Detached

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
North Vancouver
May 2015 May 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $213,639,096 $156,655,551 36%
Units Listed 193 197 -2%
Units Sold 149 145 2%
Sold- Year to Date 697 568 22%
Avg Price/Unit $1,433,819 $1,080,383 32%
Active Listings 254 398 -36%
Benchmark Price $1,167,800 $994,400 17.2%
Price Index (HPI) 185.9 158.7 17.2%
West Vancouver
May 2015 May 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $283,825,710 $210,203,750 35%
Units Listed 183 198 -7%
Units Sold 98 82 19%
Sold- Year to Date 473 326 45%
Avg Price/Unit $2,896,180 $2,563,460 12%
Active Listings 467 554 -15%
Benchmark Price $2,291,000 $2,009,200 13.7%
Price Index (HPI) 217.8 191.3 13.7%
Vancouver West
May 2015 May 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $676,876,549 $527,884,927 28%
Units Listed 289 346 -16%
Units Sold 211 203 3%
Sold- Year to Date 906 797 13%
Avg Price/Unit $3,207,945 $2,600,418 23%
Active Listings 679 884 -23%
Benchmark Price $2,554,900 $2,229,800 14.4%         
Price Index (HPI) 262.3 229.1 14.4%
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.

For more detailed statistics for

Have Your Offer Stand Out In A Crowd 

If you are in the market for a new home, you are keenly aware that the real estate market is hot and “bidding wars” can be fierce and competitive. When you are ready to purchase your new home, it is important that your offer is advantageous to both you and the seller. It always helps to have a strategy to ensure that your bid stands out from the competition. Here are a few tips to give your offer that winning edge.

Be Ready
Have everything you need in place.  Line up your financing in advance so the sale won't be dependent on securing a mortgage. Proof of buying power gives the seller the confidence that you will follow through with your purchase. Have your down payment set aside and have all of the necessary paperwork in order and completed.

Be Flexible
Let the sellers know that you are flexible about terms, such as move-in dates and inclusions. When possible, find out as much as possible about the seller's needs before making an offer so you can offer precisely what they want.

Come in Fast and Strong 
Be the first offer, but don't insult. This is not the time to lowball, not with the lack of listings out there. Nothing turns a seller off more than someone undervaluing their prized possession. Come in with an offer that that truly dictates what the current market is valued at. Let them know you are serious with a strong, solid offer.
A significant boost in the amount of earnest money shows the seller you are determined. Earnest money is a good-faith deposit made by the buyers after the offer is accepted. (You get it back in time for closing, and it usually makes up a chunk of a buyer’s down payment).

Introduce Your Family
Have your agent tell the sellers about your family and why you chose their home. Creative buyers have written personal letters to sellers, including photos of their family and even artwork created by their children. This needs to be sincere and honest and not part of a bigger strategy.   If sellers have raised their own family in the home, they may like the fact that it is going to be enjoyed by another young family for years to come.

No Regrets
Home buying is an emotional experience. Time restrictions and competitiveness of a multiple-offer situation only heighten the excitement and tension. Don’t let emotions or anxiety cloud your judgement and let you get swept up in the process.  

Ann Hickey
604 220-6249