Blog by Ann Hickey

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September 2015 - Market News

Market News - Active Listings: The Only Cool Spot in a Hot August Market

Red hot real estate prices remained sizzling in August with unrelenting record sales and continuous growth. Not everything was hot, with Active Listings cooling down on the North Shore and Vancouver West.
North Vancouver’s Benchmark Price rose 16.2% from one year ago but, like Vancouver and West Vancouver we did see a significant drop in overall Active Listings. August, 2014 showed 289 Active Listings and August, 2015 fell 42% to just 165 listings. Other areas where we saw some declines in North Vancouver specifically were in Unit’s Listed (5% drop) and Units Sold (down 4%). Given the current real estate climate it is not surprising North Vancouver’s overall Gross Sales were up 12% from last year at $118,558,058 to $133,344,478 and the average price per unit increased 17% from $1,197,556 to $1,403,626.
Active listings may have been down 10% in West Vancouver but there was a substantial increase of 47% in overall Gross Sales, from $171,738,680 to $253,377,267.  Illustrating just how hot August, 2015 was for the North shore, the Average Price per Unit increased a fiery 27% from $2,385,259 to $3,052,738.  Other   strong growth areas were Sold Year to Date figures which were up from 561 to 738, an impressive increase of 31%. Benchmark Prices are up a healthy 12.6% with the new Benchmark Price set for West Vancouver at $2,320,400.
Vancouver West stats always appear to be on the rise and this is true again for August with the exception also of Active Listings. A 27% drop from one year ago, 838 to 606, Active Listings substantiates that the demand is a strong influence.  Benchmark Prices for Vancouver West were up nearly 18% from $2,282,400 to $2,695,100 in just one year. With a lower number of listings on the market, the Average Price per Unit rose 17% from $2,804,503 to $3,298,483.

Cooler fall temperatures may be approaching but our real estate market is remaining sizzling hot. If you are interested in buying or selling 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

August 2015 August 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $133,344,478 $118,558,085 12%
Units Listed 97 103 -5%
Units Sold 95 99 -4%
Sold- Year to Date 1064 914 16%
Avg Price/Unit $1,403,626 $1,197,556 17%
Active Listings 165 289 -42%
Benchmark Price $1,188,500 $1,020,100 16.2%
Price Index (HPI) 189.0 162.8 16.2%
West Vancouver

August 2015 August 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $253,377,267 $171,738,680 47%
Units Listed 122 101 20%
Units Sold 83 72 15%
Sold- Year to Date 738 561 31%
Avg Price/Unit $3,052,738 $2,385,259 27%
Active Listings 453 508 -10%
Benchmark Price $2,320,400 $2,018,600 12.6%
Price Index (HPI) 220.6 192.2 12.6%
Vancouver West

August 2015 August 2014 % Increase
Gross Sales $488,175,507 $353,367,415 38%
Units Listed 217 210 3%
Units Sold 148 126 17%
Sold- Year to Date 1,445 1241 16%
Avg Price/Unit $3,298,483 $2,804,503 17%
Active Listings 606 838 -27%
Benchmark Price $2,695,100 $2,282,400 17.9%         
Price Index (HPI) 276.7 234.5 17.9%
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.

Back To School: Catchments Are Important in Home Sales

Have you taken into consideration the local school catchment when looking to buy a home? Even if you aren’t planning to use the local schools, the quality of nearby schools directly impacts how much you pay and how much you sell a home for in the future. All home buyers should think about resale and building home equity when selecting their new home, even if they do not plan to move in the near future.

Here are five reasons why you should consider the quality of nearby schools   when you buy your next home:

Market Protection
Even in a down market, an esteemed school boundary can be the solid lift for nearby house prices. Homes can go up or down in value for various reasons, but being located in a great school catchment can act as a key factor for solid value and an anchor for when the market is rough.

Better Resale
Situations change, and a move could come sooner than expected.  Do everything in your power to get a sound resale value for your home. A high rated catchment is one of the best ways to do this. Not only are the values for these homes higher, but these houses tend to take less time to sell when they hit the market. If you don’t move, you are still in a great position to build long-term equity for your home by buying in a reputable school catchment. Although there are never any guarantees when it comes to the real estate market; one thing is for certain, and that is parents will always want the best schools they can afford for their kids.
Good Neighbourhood
All other things constant, a good school catchment tends to equal a good neighborhood. And when it comes to real estate, the name of the game is location, location, location. Great location can mean safer neighborhoods, abundance of places to eat, access to amenities and typically can result in better public transportation.

Buying without children
Even if you don’t plan on using the schools, the school district should still be an important part of your house research. Real estate values are demand driven and some home buyers may make their final decision to purchase based exclusively on a nearby school.

Do your homework
There are so many factors in what makes a great school so make sure you do your homework and gather real information to make your decision. Go beyond the generic reputation of a school and talk to other parents in the area and if you have kids that will be attending a nearby school, meet with school staff and schedule a school visit.
Many lower mainland parents put some merit into The Fraser Institute Report. This “school report card” offers ratings and graphs demonstrating how well particular schools performed in academics over a number of years.  Parents can use this data to compare the performance of schools when choosing a school for their children. The Fraser Institute Report does come with controversy as many parents and teachers feel that it is not a true representation on public school performance.
September can be a busy time for many of us as we prepare our kids for a new school year. If you need help preparing to buy or sell your home give me a call, I’d love to help.

Ann Hickey
604 220-6249