Blog by Ann Hickey

<< back to article list

May Newsletter

April Market Overview: It’s A Seller’s Market

As home prices in Metro Vancouver increase, so does the demand from home buyers.  The latest numbers for April show the overall increase in residential sales up 37% compared to April 2014. “The supply of homes for sale today in the region is not meeting the demand we're seeing from home buyers. This is putting upward pressure on prices, particularly in the detached home market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.  
The real estate demands are far outpacing the supply. Lower interest rates mixed with limited listings have driven up the demand for properties in what is now seemingly a seller’s market.  In Vancouver as well as the North Shore, the rising prices have been driven by the low supply of detached properties.  Many detached homes have been sold as part of land assemblies, shrinking the stock of sought-after properties because the detached houses end up being replaced by multifamily buildings and other developments.
North Vancouver saw gross sales up 32% from $176,475,104 to $233,056,240 while the number of units listed fell 25% compared to last year. Active listings in North Vancouver dropped 37%, and the benchmark price has increased to $1,138,300, a solid 15.7% from April 2014, and up 2.4% from the numbers we saw in March of this year. West Vancouver saw an overall increase in gross sales up an astonishing 65% compared to April of 2014 and in one month the benchmark price rose from $2,183,700 to $2,235,300. A steady climb of 53% over last year’s sold –year to date figures as compared with a 7% decrease in active listings highlighting the slim supply of units for sale.
Vancouver West sales keep going up and up and an increase of 62% in overall gross sales indicate there is no slowing down. At 709, active listings are down 20% from a year ago and prices are up 16%, again, exhibiting once again a hot sellers’ market. Benchmark price for Vancouver West is now at $2,490,600. “It’s a competitive and fast-moving market today that is tilted in favour of home sellers.” says McLeod. “To be competitive, it’s important to connect with a local realtor who can help you develop a strategy to meet your home buying or selling needs.”  

Click Here to discover how some "experts" view the current North Vancouver market.

Are you ready to develop a winning approach for your home buying and selling needs? Give me a call, I would love to help. 

MARKET OVERVIEW: Residential Detached

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
North Vancouver
April 2015 April 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $233,056,240 $176,475,104 32%
Units Listed 194 259 -25%
Units Sold 167 141 18%
Sold- Year to Date 548 423 29%
Avg Price/Unit $1,395,546 $1,251,596 11%
Active Listings 257 409 -37%
Benchmark Price $1,138,300 $981,800 15.7%
Price Index (HPI) 181.2 156.7 15.7%
West Vancouver
April 2015 April 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $298,665,026 $180,381,000 65%
Units Listed 189 198 -4%
Units Sold 109 76 43%
Sold- Year to Date 375 244 53%
Avg Price/Unit $2,740,046 $2,373,434 15%
Active Listings 475 511 -7%
Benchmark Price $2,236,300 $1,972,400 13%
Price Index (HPI) 212.6 187.8 13%
Vancouver West
April 2015 April 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $697,868,306 $428,432,253 62%
Units Listed 317 363 -12%
Units Sold 220 158 39%
Sold- Year to Date 695 594 17%
Avg Price/Unit $3,172,128 $2,711,596 16%
Active Listings 709 887 -20%
Benchmark Price $2,490,600 $2,201,600 13%             
Price Index (HPI) 255.7 226.2 13%
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.

To renovate, or not to renovate, that is the question.
Given the current market conditions, home renovations before you put your home on the market may, or may not be a good idea. Every day hundreds of home owners ponder the same question… “Should we sell our home as is, or renovate to get top dollar?”
Typically, if the value of your home beats the average market price in your neighbourhood, extensive home renovations are simply not worth it.  If your home value is below what the average home is selling for in your neighbourhood, you may improve your selling price with a renovation or a simple up to date makeover.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada surveys its members each year and gathers information on which renovations yield the best return on investment. Year after year, refurbished kitchens and bathrooms lead the list with 75%-100% of expenses recuperated upon resale. The amount spent on any renovation project should be in relation to the value of the home. A $50,000 kitchen renovation does not belong in a small bungalow that most likely will be torn down.

Before considering renovations, make sure everything in your home is well maintained and in good repair. Marble countertops and new flooring will be ignored if there are cracks in the foundation and water stains on the ceiling.  Do a careful market survey and compare your home with those in your neighbourhood. Find out what those homes have that yours does not. Develop and design your renovation to meet the needs and tastes of a majority of potential buyers.

Remember that what you see on your favourite home show is far from realistic. Renos take time, are costly and all those simple and inexpensive DIY’s fixes that look so fun are never as easy as they look. Hire professionals and ask to see their portfolio of past projects and check references.  Before you start any job, make sure you have a well thought out design plan, time line and a realistic budget. Have some contingency money set aside as unexpected expenses always seem to pop up.

Do your homework and know what you are getting into before you start. Keep in mind; many potential buyers are also looking for a home to fix up.  Presenting a solid home worth renovating might just be the best way to attract the most buyers. To renovate or not to renovate is ultimately up to you.