Vancouver Peak

Full Version: VIREB - 2013 Sales Data (Vancouver Island REB)
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
Here is the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) Sales Data for January - June 2013 so there is a good amount of information.

The six tables below look at Single Family Home (Unit) sales for all zones in the VIREB. The data comes from the VIREB Monthly Sales Summary for each month. According to the Summary, it should be noted that “the Board Totals figures also include: Zone 7-North Island, Zone 9-Out of Board Properties, and Zone 10-Islands figures which are not listed separately in this table.”

I have added to each Summary by calculating the percentage (%) change on a month-to-month basis for both ‘Unit Sales’ and the ‘Average Sale Price’, for example between January, 2013 and December, 2012 in the January table. I did this because I was curious to see if the ‘% Change’ for the ‘Average Sales Price’ would show any month-to-month decline. I was not expecting to see any month-to-month decline in ‘Unit Sales’ as sales generally improve going from winter into summer; but, this was not the case. Between January-May, ‘Unit Sales’ dropped for the Campbell River Zone three times month-to-month (January, March, May) and once for Nanaimo (May). However, in June, sales tanked for all zones and as a result, June Unit Sales were down 15% (-15%) overall from May - a dramatic drop. As for that ‘Average Sale Price’, it looks like the message is finally hitting home on the island and sellers are lowering their prices - there is a lot of red in those month-to-month % change figures.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=300]

The following table looks at VIREB 2013 sales for the region as a whole by type.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=290]

The next table looks at the region’s June 2013 sales data by type comparing it to June 2012, 2011 and 2010. As well, it gives the ‘Year-to-Date’ (YTD) data for the same time periods.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=296]

Time to give the eyes a rest - the following chart illustrates the number of new Single Family Homes (Units) listed each month as well as the overall ‘Total Active Listings’ for each month extending back to December, 2011.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=292]

I have a personal interest in vacant land sales and so I have put together a chart showing the number of lots currently listed in the VIREB region (note: waterfront lots are not included in VIREB Monthly Summary data). On the Sunshine Coast, vacant land sales peaked in 2004 and starting racing to the bottom from 2006 onwards and yet land continues to be cleared and more lots added to the ever increasing inventory. I hope to expand this VIREB data in the future to see if it parallels the SC. I have a feeling it will.

By the way, only 40 vacant lots sold in June throughout all the zones in the VIREB from a total listed inventory of 976 - a measly 4.1% and they keep cutting down the trees.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=293]

The VIREB doesn't make things easy at all and I have had to pull this info from a variety of reports. To be honest, it has my head spinning and this coupled with the fact I am not an ace at interpreting the numbers makes me reluctant to offer too many comments. Therefore, if anyone visting this post would like to offer their interpretation on what they see, it would be welcomed.
Here is the bare bones VIREB July, 2013 Sales Stats (Single Family Residences only).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=325]

Note: The Board "Totals" figures also include: Zone 7-North Island, Zone 9-Out of Board Properties, and Zone 10-Islands figures which are not listed separately in this table.

As soon as more detailed information is released, I will add it to this post.
VIREB - July 2013 Sales Update:

This post will complete the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board July 2013 sales stats. For July sales by area, please see the post above.

Here is the 2013 Market Stats July update by type. For earlier months (Jan-May), please see initial post in this thread.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=333]

My source for VIREB Sales stats does not report SFH waterfront sales on a consistent basis; therefore, I have not been able to report this information for January to June. However, I do have details for July...

Single Family Home - Waterfront: No of Sales - 18; Average Sales Price: $567,134

Here is the July 2013 sales data Year-to-Year and Year-to-Date comparisons.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=334]

[Image: attachment.php?aid=335]
August, 2013 Sales Data

Here is the basic VIREB August, 2013 Sales Stats (Single Family Residences only).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=379]

When I have access to the more detailed stat information, I will add it to this post.
This post along with the post above completes the VIREB sales stats for August, 2013.

The cheering for August sales results by RE Boards across the country has been deafening and that includes the VIREB. Yes, SFH sales were fantastic when compared to August 2012 (+38%). However, all the boards are silent when it comes to comparing August sales to July sales - a drop of 9% (-9%) for the VIREB.

So, I have created a table showing SFH unit sales for 2013 and it leads the tables below. As you can see, there have already been two months showing negative results when compared to the month before - June (-15%) and August (-9%). It will be interesting to see how the next few months tally now that mortgage rates have begun to rise.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=404]

Here are the charts showing the number of new SFH and Lot listings and the Total Active Listings for both.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=405]

[Image: attachment.php?aid=406]

I have no waterfront property sales to report this month - my usual source for stats is dawdling so I went to my backup. If I eventually get that info, I will add it to the post.
September, 2012 Sales Update:

At the beginning of the month, the VIREB releases a simple table showing the previous month’s sales totals. This is the only information the Board “officially” makes available to the public. About a week or so later, it releases more in-depth sales info to Realtors and some pass that onto the public. So, I use the Board’s simple table until I can augment it with that more in-depth analysis.

However, over the last few months I have been modifying the Board’s simple table and I think it might be time to show you what I have been doing to “improve” the data. Directly below is the VIREB sales table for September. 2013. As you can see, you are given Single Family Home Unit sales for the current reporting month, the previous month and the previous year. Then you are given the percentage change between the current month’s sales and the previous year’s sales (Sept 2013 vs Sept 2012). The same process is applied to the Average Sale Price. The last column gives the Median Sale Price for the current reporting month (Sept 2013).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=453]

Now, here is what I have done to “improve” the table. Last month, I added a new column. I decided to calculate the percentage change between the reporting month and the previous month. So, in my September table you can now see in the unit sales section how September’s sales compare to August’s. I also did the same for the Average Sales price.

This month I have modified the Median Sales Price column by including the previous month’s data and, again, I have added a percentage change column. I’ve noticed that RE Boards don’t like to offer a month to month comparison; however, I am under the opinion that if you are selling or buying a home then you want to know what is happening this year which is why I have also created the small table showing the 2013 monthly totals with the month to month percentage change.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=466]

When I have access to the more detailed stat information, I will add it to this post.

October 4, 2013 Update:

Anyone following the news is aware that Real Estate Boards across the country are reporting a significant increase in September 2013 sales compared to September 2012. The VIREB in its October 1st press release that accompanied September’s stats likewise has lots of wonderful news to report. I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at the press release and perhaps give it a different spin.

Quote:1st Paragraph:
NANAIMO, BC – Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for September released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was up 29 per cent compared to last year, while average sale price remained virtually unchanged. The average price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in September 2013 was $323,914, down one per cent from this time last year. A total of 336 units sales were recorded in September 2013, in comparison to September 2012, when only 261 single family homes sold.

Yes, September 2013 sales were up +29% compared to September 2012; but, sales everywhere in 2012 were the pits. Of course, if we compare September Sales to the month before (August), housing sales dropped -14% which is on top of the -9% drop in August sales compared to July. The Average Sale Price dropped -5% compared to August which wiped out the +2% August gain compared to July. Units sold were 336 in September compared to 391 the month before (August) and 432 in July.

Yes, if you want a rosy picture you’ll definitely want to stick to comparing sales to 2012.

Quote:2nd Paragraph:
In terms of unit sales for September year-over-year, there continued to be fluctuations among our different areas: Campbell River reported a 7 per cent decline; Comox Valley unit sales spiked 59%; Nanaimo sales also grew by 57%; Parksville/Qualicum sales rose 27%; Cowichan Valley saw a 21% increase, and Port Alberni/West Coast experienced a dip, down 29%.

Zone stats are definitely better, too, if you stick to comparing to 2012. Campbell River sales Sept vs Aug: -38% and Aug vs July: -22%; Comox Valley sales Sept vs Aug: - 12% and Aug vs July: -22%; Cowichan Valley sales Sept vs Aug: -41% and Aug vs July: +3%; Nainamo sales Sept vs Aug: +3% and Aug vs July: -2%; Parksville/Qualicum sales Sept vs Aug: +9% and Aug vs July: -7%; and Port Alberni/West sales Sept vs Aug: -30% and Aug vs July: +4%.

Quote:3rd Paragraph:
“While we have witnessed significant fluctuations in our unit sales compared to September last year, when looking at these numbers year-to-date, we are reporting an eight per cent increase overall, indicative of a more balanced and stable market, compared to last year when activity levels were quite low” said VIREB president, Gary Gray. “When you compare unit sales to last month, most zones actually reported a slight decline in sales volume,” he stated.

Yes, SFH sales year-to -date was up +8% but it still doesn’t make up for the total decline in sales over the previous two years year-to -date figures and is still -1.3% below the YTD 2010 YTD sales. And, how are we to interpret Mr. Gary’s “slight decline in sales volume” when looking at what I wrote above? Hello?

Quote:4th Paragraph:
At the end of September 2013 there were 2,615 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® within VIREB’s coverage area, down from the 2,911 homes in the system at the end of September 2012.

My SFH listings graph below takes care of this paragraph.

Quote:5th Paragraph:
Comparing September 2013 to September 2012, the average sale prices across VIREB’s six geographic areas saw: Campbell River up seven per cent with average sales price listed at $280,278; the Comox Valley fell nine per cent to $333,920; Nanaimo dipped five per cent to $341,604; Parksville/Qualicum prices were down two per cent to $384,717; the Cowichan Valley dropped 13 per cent to $276,472, while Port Alberni/West Coast remained relatively stable, reporting a one per cent dip in price with an average of $243,691.

Average Sale Prices dropped in all zones in Sept vs Aug except in the Comox Valley which saw a +2% increase which doesn’t make up the -6% decrease in Aug vs July. For the remaining zones, September’s decreases wipe out most gains seen in Aug vs July with only the Parksville/Qualicum zone still slightly ahead.

Yes, we’re doing marvelous, simply marvelous.


Here are the remaining VIREB September, 2013 sales statistics.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=467]

[Image: attachment.php?aid=468]

Note: I have posted an Announcement concerning an important notice from the VIREB in its October 1st press release. This Announcement is at the top of the ‘Vancouver Island Data’ forum
October 2013 Sales

Looks like buyers on Vancouver Island took September’s positive reports to heart and jumped back into the market. October sales are almost all in the green this month including on a month to month basis thus reversing a two month back-to-back slide. Everybody’s happy this month…well, except for Nanaimo and the Parksville/Qualicum areas - they had their fun last month.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=512]

I’ll add the more detailed data as soon as it become available.
November 10, 2013 Update:

This post will conclude the VIREB October, 2013 sales data.

I’ve been willing this post to write itself over the last few days, but it refuses. The reason: I now have the VIREB’s new MLS Home Price Index data to contend with and I feel I should attempt to explain the results along with the rest of the October data when all I would like to do is just stick up all the tables and charts and leave it for you to figure out; but, let’s see what I can do with this however briefly.

So this month, the VIREB makes available to the public a 10-page package of stats all based on the MLS Home Price Index method of sales reporting. You can download it from the VIREB website (top of right hand column). However, it is still preparing its previous method of reporting sales and sending it out to board members and obtained it from my usual source - I hope that source will continue to post it. So, I have prepared this post using both the old and new sales info.

I’ll begin by presenting the first four paragraphs from the November 1st VIREB press release regarding October’s sales (found in the new stats package). Note that the bold highlighting is my own.

November 1, 2013

Healthy Home Sales Show Return to Historical Averages

NANAIMO, BC – Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area continued to improve in the month of October, resulting in a 29 per cent increase in unit sales over this time last year. As sales momentum continues to build after a particularly slow market last year, we are witnessing a return to our historical averages across the board area.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that there were a total of 352 single-family homes sold in the VIREB area on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2013. This signifies a 29 per cent increase compared to the 272 sales recorded in October 2012, and a 4.8 per cent increase over last month.

“We are currently seeing a good supply of listings and attractive interest rates, which we anticipate will remain for the foreseeable future,” said VIREB president, Gary Gray. “This should create a healthy market balance moving into the new year.”

Now, here are October’s sales using the previous method of reporting. As you can see in the top table below not only was there a substantial increase in SFH sales (+29%) over October, 2012 but all types had significant increases with total sales up a whopping +39%. On a year-to-date basis, we can see that 2013 is up +9% over 2012; however, total sales this year are still -3.1% below the year-to-date- total reached in 2010 (4994). That being said single family home sales appear to have reached a new high (3451) for year-to-date sales.

What accounts for these October’s sales? I am no expert but here are my thoughts and if anyone can add to this, please do. If you look at the second table below, you will notice that overall the total Active Listings for all types has been dropping on a month-to-month basis compared to 2012. So, potential buyers are chasing fewer properties. Another possible reason is price and to best explain that, I think we need to look at the new MLS HPI data which will follow my Active Listings charts.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=527]

Next, are the usual charts I post; however, I have added two new charts pulled from this month’s VIREB stats package.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=528]

Now, let’s look at the new VIREB MLS HPI data. First, I am going to present the balance of the November 1st VIREB press release which announces this change and presents some HPI and Benchmark price data. As well, I will quote VIREB’s reasons for adopting MLS Home Price Index reporting.

Quote:This month, VIREB joins the Canadian Real Estate Association and ten major real estate markets in Canada by adopting a new method of statistical reporting called the MLS® Home Price Index, or HPI. This system provides a more consistent trend analysis, and is a better indicator of property value that averages and medians, which are easily skewed by the sale of high-end or low-end properties. The methodology used by MLS® HPI has been endorsed by Statistics Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada and Central 1 Credit Union.

Mirrored after the Consumer Price Index, the HPI calculates the value for a typical “benchmark home”, which is a notional dwelling that shares a specific set of qualitative and quantitative attributes that are typical for the type of residential dwelling in question.

For October 2013, the benchmark price for a single-family benchmark home in the VIREB coverage area was $310,100, with an MLS® HPI index value of 145.5. (This represents a 45.5 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). This benchmark price increased 0.50 per cent over last month and decreased 1.4 per cent over last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $330,304.

Benchmark prices tend to be slightly lower than corresponding medians and averages. MLS® HPI estimates the values of our typical homes, whereas medians and averages reflect the overall selling prices of the unique mix of homes that sold in a given month.

The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $260,000, up 1.1 per cent over last year; in the Comox Valley the benchmark price was $312,300, down 0.8 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $281,600, dropping 4.3 per cent from last year; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $325,600, down 1.3 per cent over last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $347,300, dipping 0.4 per cent from last year; and Port Alberni is listed at $193,600 for a benchmark home, up 6.1 per cent over last year.


Why an MLS® Home Price Index?

The MLS® HPI captures and analyzes Canadian home prices based on both quantitative and qualitative housing features.

Quantitative features captured by the index are, for example, number of rooms and bathrooms, living area above ground and the age of the home. Qualitative features include finished basement, if the home is new or resale, and the home’s proximity to shopping, schools, transportation, hospitals and so on.

The MLS® HPI gauges Vancouver Island prices relative to January 2005, and tracks price trends for benchmark housing types:
  • Single family homes: 1 storey & 2 storey
  • Townhouses
  • Condominium apartments
The complete methodology is available at

Why does it matter?

Average and median home prices are often misinterpreted, are affected by change in the mix of homes sold, and can swing dramatically from month to month (based on the types and prices of properties that sold in a given month). The MLS® HPI overcomes these shortcomings.

Compared to all other Canadian home price measures, the MLS® HPI identifies turning points sooner, is the most current, and is the most detailed and accurate gauge for Canadian home prices.

How to Read the Tables

Benchmark Price: Estimated sale price of a benchmark property. Benchmarks represent a typical property in each market
Price Index: Index numbers estimate the percentage change in price on typical and constant quality properties over time. All figures are based on past sales. In January 2005, all indices are set to 100.

Month/Year change %: Percentage change of index over a period of (x) month(s) year(s).

I have created the table below for Single Family Home (SFH) sales using the new MLS HPI data showing the HPI and Benchmark for the current reporting month (Oct 2013), last month, one year ago, 3 years ago (36 months ago), and five years ago (60 months ago).

With the Benchmark Price data, I have calculated the % change relative to October 2013; so, the 3Y%Chg is comparing Oct2010 vs Oct2013 and the same holds for the 5Y%Chg.

I want to point out that my calculations for the 1Y%Chg differ from those calculated by the VIREB presented in its October Press Release above (highlighted in blue). I triple checked my data and calculations and cannot explain the difference.

Now, according to the Boards that have adopted the MLS HPI reporting method, it is the purest method for showing sales “trending”. If so, then what we see with the Benchmark Price for the “typical” home in each reporting area is that despite an slight upswing in a few areas (Campbell River, Port Alberni/West), the Benchmark continues to drop. In other words, the “typical” home continues to drop in value.

Therefore, sales in October could be influenced by the dropping inventory (mentioned above) and by the continuing drop in home prices. Perhaps, buyers feel prices have reached their lowest level and want to get in before they start to rise again. As well, they may be taking advantage of a last month of pre-approved lower mortgage rates or fear rising interest rates in the near future despite current medial reports. Again, these are only my thoughts and if anyone would like to correct or add to this, please feel free to post.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=529]

Finally, I have included three charts from the VIREB package comparing the Average, Median and Benchmark HPI for Single Family, Condo (Apt) and Townhouse. You will notice in all cases that the HPI is showing almost a flat line and because of this there are some who believe that HPI fails to truly reflect what is happening in the real estate market. One individual who feels this way is Garth Turner (former conservative MP and now a financial advisor). Turner has a blog and you can read his views on the MLS HPI in his November 3, 2013 post, ‘Scrubbed’.
VIREB - SFH Waterfront Sales

I have two sources of VIREB stats in addition to Board’s monthly package. One of these other sources makes the following map and includes it with the table data. It offers a nice break down of sales by location and I've decided to add it to this past month's posting.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=547]

A few months back, I noticed he was including the number of SFH Waterfront sales in the “Totals” box; this is info the board does not release. I went through all the stats packages on this fellow’s website and was able get the waterfront sales data going back to January, 2010 minus two missing months. I prepared the following table and chart from the data.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=548]

Those are interesting results for 2013 - quite an upswing in sales. Prices have been dropping for a number of years on the island and I think they finally reached a point in September where buyers felt it was now or never especially if any had a pre-approved low interest mortgage rate that was about to expire. I think October’s results show the frenzy is over.
November 2013 Sales Data:

Well, now, isn’t this a nice little drop from October’s sales (Note: figures rounded off).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=570]

So, let’s see what spin the Board can put on November’s stats in the first paragraph of its press release:

Quote:Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area was relatively stable for the month of November, dipping only slightly from this time last year. Although there has been a minimal decline in activity, the Board remains on-target to reach its forecasted growth for this year, as a result of a strong summer and fall marketplace.

Yep, nice and positive to start with and then we move onto the second paragraph and it’s still upbeat until reality must be acknowledged, but only near the end of the second sentence.

Quote:The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports a total of 288 single-family homes sold in the VIREB coverage area on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November 2013. This signifies a one per cent increase compared to the 286 sales recorded in November 2012, and a 17.7% drop from this time last month.

Okay, this looks bad, but wait, investors, let’s turn to an expert we know and trust for his take on this ugly drop. So,…

Quote:According to BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, the dip in sales activity this month is nothing to be concerned about. “Every market in BC has shown a retrenchment in demand this November, which could be attributed to flat employment levels and slow economic growth,” he stated.

There you go, it’s just a “dip” maybe due flat employment and slow economic growth. Heck, that’s nothing to be concerned about - only wimps worry about stuff like that. It’s still party, party, party as far as we’re concerned.

Here are the ‘Year-Over-Year’ stats which is what the Board would like everyone to concentrate on. The ‘Year-to-Date’ sales are positive compared to 2012 and it is due to those nice May to October numbers. However, should we really be cheering these numbers? According to a Scotiabank Economics press release issue on November 15, 2013 which looked at the sales across Canada...

Quote:On a very preliminary basis, this would feed into our view that sales rose over the spring and summer at the expense of future months as people exercised options to purchase within 90-120 day mortgage rate commitments on fears of losing the juicy rate commitments back in the spring. I maintain the view that the spring and summer market was a temporary interruption along a correcting sales path. That said, the lower volumes over coming months are likely to carry a lot of noise, and so the bigger test of the brought-forward argument will probably have to wait until we receive figures for how the market performs next Spring and early Summer which is traditionally when much of the year’s activity is concentrated (think school, and long winters).

Scotiabank had not been alone in urging caution over this year’s summer and fall sales figures.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=571]

What is noteworthy in the table above is the movement into negative territory for ‘Units Listed’ and ‘Active Listings’ for all listing types. There is always a seasonal drop on the coast at this time of year; however, the move into negative listing territory began in September.

Next, we have the new HPI and Benchmark Price data which shows only moderate change over the last year which many believe is why boards have adopted this method for analyzing sales. You will want to keep in mind the ‘Average’ and ‘Median’ sales figures shown in the second table at the beginning of this post.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=572]

Finally, here are my own graphs for SFH and Lots Listings. Please note that last night I sat down and completely REVISED the data.

When I first sat down to look at VIREB data for my first post, I was trying to find a way that explained the month-to-month total active listings. I was thinking: if you add the previous month’s sales, then subtract the current month’s sales, and then add the current month’s listings - it should all balance out. Well, of course, it didn’t. So, I think I threw my hands in the air and for some reason decided to add the current month’s ‘Units Listed’ to the current month’s ‘Active Listings’ in that 2013 Market Statistics table above to give me this new fantastic ‘Total Active Listings’ for the month which I then charted. Of course, by June, I completely forgot to follow this unique process and from then on was only plotting the ‘Units Listed’ and ‘Active Listings’ as shown directly in the table.

So, now both charts show only the data supplied by the Board without my ‘creative’ addition. It hasn’t changed the ‘behaviour’ or ‘look’ of the graph significantly, but the ‘Month Ttl’ data now corresponds with the Board’s ‘Active Listings’ data. Duh!

[Image: attachment.php?aid=573]

(Hat tip to VMD at Vancouver Condo Info for link to Scotiabank document in his post yesterday - #15.)
Pages: 1 2