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(06-14-2015, 06:33 PM)Skook Wrote: [ -> ]DSM-5...ROFLOL

Well, this proves it for sure...Vancity Credit Union's new payday loans. Garth Turner at The Greater Fool runs with this one - worth reading today's post "The Money Changers".

And Sir Skook beats me to it! I was going to compile a report, nothing like as impressive as this, this weekend as I'd seen the May numbers are now up. I will respond in greater detail this evening but here are some headlines based on what I'm seeing and hearing:

- all of the action is in two categories - the $400-$700 bracket and the $1m ++ bracket
- the land sale at $5.8m is a disgruntled developer about whom you can read more in The Undercurrent's discussion of land zoning in recent weeks
- there is strong evidence of properties over $800K sticking and some evidence of price reductions
- the average days on market on the island (see Skook's post) continues to tell its own story, as Skook says
- inventory has actually started to rise in early June, from 33 to 35.

My take - young families are biting the bullet and moving to Bowen despite the commute because it is still relatively affordable. The rate drop by the BoC is definitely having an impact, not least because it's great news for foreign buyers that the loonie is down 25%. When/if the loonie goes back up - beware...

Also some evidence of seller greed re-emerging. One property recently listed for $868,000 (loooove that price!) is assessed at $590,000 - listed at 50% over assessment. Still hasn't sold, though.

More later today. And a great job, Skook. I think I could manage the graphs but I just don't have your sleuthing skills...

More thoughts from me (I find it tough these days to find the time to post, but here goes...)

- one listing which had been on with various price drops for over 2.5 years has finally sold for below 899K, having been on at $1.299 mil when originally listed. This sale price was at least $50,000 *below* assessment.
- another listing remains on the market at 1.049m, having been on and off the market since 2007, more or less;
- still another has just had a price drop from 899K to 885K, bringing it to within 25% of its assessed value of $752K. this property last changed hands for $840K just over two years ago.

Elsewhere and less depressingly for sellers, at least, there is strong evidence of what more than one realtor has given as the reason for the high number of sales on the island - fair pricing. 921 Elronds, as one example, is listed at $799000, just 5% over its assessed price of $745,000.

As evidenced in my previous post, though, there are still a number of examples of Disneyland pricing of more than 50% over assessment. And guess what? it's the fairly-priced homes that are selling, along with one or two of the "million-plus" category.

Inventory has crept up a little since the start of June. I will continue to follow the rest of the summer market with interest.

Quick note - inventory up 30% in two weeks. Wow, that sales surge died fast...
June – July 2015 BI Sales Stats

Bowen Island detached home sales dropped in June and July compared to earlier months likely due to summer vacations kicking in. July sales were on par with July 2014 at 5; however, it looks like 2015 sales occurred in lower price ranges (median $534,000) compared to the month before ($838,000) and to July last year ($771,500). Total active listings took a jump in July rising to 57 – the highest level yet this year; but, this year’s listings are well below last year’s.

I get my data from MacDonald Realty’s monthly ‘Market Hot Sheets.’ I included a chart in my last stats post that showed a discrepancy between MacDonald’s stated 2014 monthly sales and the year-end figures released by BI Realtor® Dee Elliot (a MacDonald Realty agent). I’ve included that table again on the right below. Both show year-to-date (Jan-Jul) subtotals of 32; but, except for May, there’s no agreement month-to-month which is really strange.

I’ve included two new tables this month showing the historical detached sales for June and July from 2004-2015 based on the data I’ve managed to collect with past searches. Those tables are along the bottom of the image. As you will note, historically July sales tend to be slow.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1147]

The Bowen Island Benchmark Price flatlined in July dropping $400 compared to June. This likely reflects July’s lower price range sales that I mentioned above. As the table below shows, this year’s benchmark prices are the highest since 2012 and if the trend continues for the remaining months the average result could very well exceed 2012.

July’s benchmark drop from peak price (May 2012) was -1.8% with June at -1.7%.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1148]

Out of interest, I checked the BI active listings on Aug 10 and the single detached home result is in the table on the left below. I did the same on June 12 for my last stats post and have included that table for comparison. As of Aug 12, the detached listings remain the same which brings the total BI active listings to 83 when you add in the 31 vacant lot listings.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1149]

That’s it for the BI stats. I will leave it to JimmyWW to pad out the figures with his thoughts on what is happening on the island.

Add-on: Forgot to point out something - look at the trendline in Benchmark Price chart. Yep, it's now going uphill.
Regular readers of Skook's outstanding work will know that my wife is a professional statistician. When I showed her the latest set of data as prepared by our marsupial genius over breakfast this morning, she declared herself, "duly impressed" but then told me that (quote) "it's always dangerous to infer trend from such a small sample".

My information will to some extent back up what my wife says. In August, there have been two sales and two new listings, so the "official" number of listings has remained steady at 51. One of these sales was at 20% over assessment and in spite of buyer knowledge of some serious issues with the plumbing.

There are still manifold examples of price-to-assessed ratios being out of Disneyland (or perhaps Vancouver); properties which have been on the market for years remain unsold, etc. As a Realtor on the island remarked to me in a private email last week, "sales have rocketed this year but we've not really seen an uptick in prices."

What I observed in the Spring period was a lot of stock coming on which was fairly priced, and which shifted fast. Following this encouraging start to the year, a number of properties then came on which have been/are tenanted (do an MLS search on the island and you'll see what I mean) - yet more evidence of something I've spoken about before on this thread, the shadow inventory. Some of this now appears to be coming to market although it's not selling.

My summary is that after the Feds dropped rates, prices in Vancouver town rocketed so some young families bit the ferry bullet and headed for the island. That mid-range stock ($500-$700) got snapped up quickly, and we are now back to status quo ante. From June to July 2015, inventory rocketed from 30 to 51 homes and has more or less stayed there the last two months.

It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the 4.5% devaluation of the Yuan has on the Greater Vancouver property market. Since it's always fund to make predictions, I am now going to say we're in for a flat market on the island for a long time to come. Let's see if I'm right.

And thanks again to Skook for the number crunching. Where's that OC for him, eh? :-)


One little PS - if you are (as I am) in the market for a house on the island, I now think a bargain is going to be a tough thing to come by barring any huge market collapse over the next year. After a Spring market like this one, sellers are going to take some convincing to come to the table with a reasonable compromise. and yet a whole world of economists is telling us this is the most overheated housing market on the planet...
As expected, another great follow-up Jimmy. I entirely agree with your wife that "it's always dangerous to infer trend from such a small sample". I have sometimes felt the same can be applied to the Sunshine Coast real estate market. Look forward to your next update.
(08-14-2015, 06:54 AM)Skook Wrote: [ -> ]As expected, another great follow-up Jimmy. I entirely agree with your wife that "it's always dangerous to infer trend from such a small sample". I have sometimes felt the same can be applied to the Sunshine Coast real estate market. Look forward to your next update.

Thanks Skook and (since you reference him in another post) Garth T has raised an interesting concept today, the idea in essence being that everyone who wants to/can buy across Canada (not YVR ) more or less already has... the idea was apparently raised by a homebuilder on BNN today to explain why they are budgeting for lower demand in the next 3-5 years. Yes, Garth is a shill for certain kinds of investment, but I thought that was an interesting angle worth mentioning.

August 2015 BI Sales Stats

JimmyWW, the news isn’t good. August sales stats prove the lower mainland RE madness has definitely spread to BI. There were three more sales than the month before and two more than August last year; and, look at that median price – another great leap forward. Total active listings have dropped -43% compared to a year ago and fewer listings will only help boost home prices if people are determined to move to BI come hell or high(er) water. My little table on the right shows that Macdonald Realty and BI Realtor® Dee Elliot agreed on how many detached homes sold in August 2014. And, below both tables you can check August sales over the last twelve years.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1175]

It’s the benchmark price, though, that may take your breath away – it has reached a new peak. Goodbye May, 2012 and hello August, 2015. Well, I guess it had to be expected when every home owner in the lower mainland is now a millionaire when they sell. As of yesterday, total active listings there stand at only 11,646 so they’ve definitely been selling...and buying and selling and buying...It’s a mad, mad, mad world, JimmyWW.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1176]
(09-04-2015, 02:24 PM)Skook Wrote: [ -> ]August 2015 BI Sales Stats

JimmyWW, the news isn’t good. August sales stats prove the lower mainland RE madness has definitely spread to BI. There were three more sales than the month before and two more than August last year; and, look at that median price – another great leap forward. Total active listings have dropped -43% compared to a year ago and fewer listings will only help boost home prices if people are determined to move to BI come hell or high(er) water.

Thanks Skook. We have just spent the last two and a half weeks on island and I have to say I can't disagree with your analysis. We have even seen early evidence of -- how to put this delicately -- buyers who are clearly not Canadian driving around the island in blacked-out Mercedes long-bodies, looking at properties. For sale signs in languages other than English.

I wish I were kidding or being hyperbolic; I am not, and I think you are right - the madness has come to the island at last, as perhaps it had to given those who are being priced out of the mainland. The groups coming are: UK folks, direct from the UK; Torontonians and lastly other non-Canadians other than UK folks, increasingly those previously associated with purchases in Point Grey and elsewhere. The very stupid (in my opinion) attempt by one house seller to big up house prices on Bowen by getting the island listed in the Sunday Times "World's Best Places To Live" has had an effect I hope that they live to regret, as those people are still on the island... we shall see.

We have taken a rental on the island from January and it looks as though our best option is going to be to buy a beater and reno it. What a change from eighteen months ago, when properties were languishing for years. However, I will repeat my view -- as restated by no less an organ than the New York Times -- that when it becomes impossible for the bottom third to dream of owning is when the problems really start. That's happened in Vancouver; to judge by the difficulty in getting a place on Bowen, it's now happening here too.

Yours from the dreaming isle - with thanks, as always, for your sterling work -

September – October 2015 BI Sales Stats

I’m constantly playing catch-up with these 2015 sales stats...ah, so much to do and so little time and energy. Oh well, maybe by the end of the year.

September detached sales came in at 10: up 2 versus July and up 1 sale year-over-year according to Macdonald Realty. The median sales price dipped compared to August but rose +31% year-over-year. The ‘Days on Market’ figure rose indicating that languishing listings are starting to move which makes sense as inventory continues to drop: down -23% from the month before and -51% year-over-year. The inventory figure for September is questionable; if we follow the pattern it should read 44 which would change the ‘Supply’ to 4 months.

October’s 2 sales is a substantial drop compared to September and is even 2 less on a year-over-year basis. Perhaps, this is a reflection of lower inventory – what’s left holds little appeal to the current buyers (or investors?). Given the sales figure, the median sales price is worthless which is why it is highlighted. These stats come from Macdonald Realty’s monthly 'Market Hot Sheet' and they had that median price flagged with an asterisk. I have placed their comment below the table. Active listings are holding more or less steady reflecting the lack of sales and using October's pace the ‘Supply’ has jumped to 17 months.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1188]

A few posts back, I began including the chart on the right directly above. Bowen Island Realtor® Dee Elliot released a 2014 sales summary back on January 21st 2015 on her Facebook page. Her monthly chart totals are on the right in the table. This year, Macdonald Realty began releasing ‘Market Hot Sheets’ for all market areas of the REBGV and every month 2015 sales are compared with 2014 sales. So, the left column in the table above is MR’s 2014 Bowen Island monthly sales. What makes this comparison interesting is that Dee Elliot is a Macdonald Realty Realtor®. The only thing I can think of to explain this difference is that Elliot is showing sales only when they close. You will notice that the column subtotals are now out of whack. Will the year-end totals match? Will Dee Elliot and her Realty firm agree? We'll just have to wait and see. There, look how totally awesome and exciting real estate can be...(did you hear someone snort?)

The BI Benchmark Price continues its upward trend albeit at a much slower pace in October which should be expected given there were only 2 sales. Visually, the Benchmark Price chart can’t fail to impress – I love adding those trendlines. The August Benchmark was +0.7% above the May 2012 peak; September rose +2.7% above; and, October hit +3.1% above.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1189]

I put together a few tables showing active listings. I had hoped to post the stats above back in mid-October but got sidetracked but I figured I might as well throw in the Oct 16th table to compare with the table I prepared yesterday. It should be noted that these are MLS listed properties only. The number of Realtor® “exclusive” properties remain a mystery.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1190]

Anyone who has followed my stats posting for Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast knows that since the beginning (2013) I have taken advantage of SC Realtor® Gary Little’s interactive real estate map. Well, Little has been dicking with that map for the last few months and I think it’s broken. Like so many websites, I think Little has had to “dumb-it-down” for “smartphone” users – aw, the irony.

There might also now be a connection issue between the map and the MLS system. Back in mid-September, one local Realtor® mentioned “significant changes in the MLS we transition to a new, more modern software platform”. The change is reflected in the new MLS listing numbers which moved from V115XXXX to R200XXXX around September 14th. I get the feeling that Little is now having to input each and every new listing into his database whereas before it occurred automatically. This could be an issue until all listing numbers move over to the “Rs”. I could be wrong on this – it’s only a guess; however, there are issues with the map now. My suggestion is to turn to Little’s Property List webpage and use the filters to get a quick overview of market area listings. Then you can turn to the map and compare.


Hopefully, JimmyWW will pad out the numbers above with his thoughtful insights into the BI market. How goes the packing, Jimmy? (He and his family are moving to BI in January.)
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