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This first 2014 VIREB stats post combines the data for both January and February; so, you might want to grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable. If you would like to refer back to December, 2013 sales stats, here is that VanPeak post.

I am going to begin by quoting excerpts from the VIREB Press Releases included with the January and February stats package. They are worth keeping in mind as you look through the stats and I will be referring back to some of the remarks as I present the data. The ‘bold’ text highlighting is my own.

Quote:From Jan 2014 Stat Pkg:

Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area is in full swing this January, with reports of healthy inventory levels and unit sales across the Board.

VIREB president, Blair Herbert, is encouraged by the healthy sales activity occurring across the market coverage area. “The market began to show signs of vitality in the latter half of 2013, and this momentum has continued to build as we move forward into January. The numbers definitely bode well for our spring market,” he stated.

The benchmark price is down 0.1 per cent from last month and increased 0.8 per cent from last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $318,628, which is the same as it was this time last year.

According to BCREA economist, Brendon Ogmundson, VIREB is right on-target to meet its forecasted growth for the year. “Currently, VIREB is on-track to meet its 1.5% projected sales growth for 2014. Pricing continues to remain relatively flat; however, we do anticipate a slight increase later this spring.”


From Feb 2014 Stat Pkg:

VIREB president, Blair Herbert, is encouraged that market activity has been trending upwards for the past few months, and is cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see slow continued growth throughout 2014.

“Over the past few months, we have witnessed strong year-over-year percentage gains in terms of unit sales; however, it is important to note that last year marked a cyclical low in sales activity, so our numbers are not trending as high as they may appear,” he stated. “That being said, when looking at our sales figures over a longer period of time, our activity is close to reaching the ten-year average, so things are definitely moving in the right direction in terms of achieving balanced market conditions.”

The benchmark price is down 0.9 per cent from last month and increased 1.39 per cent from last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $345,164, which is up 10% over this time last year.

“Although pricing has remained relatively flat over the last couple of months, we anticipate that this slow and steady market growth could produce a bit of upward pressure on pricing moving forward,” said Jason Finlayson, VIREB President-Elect. “While we haven’t experienced significant gains thus far, the market is still quite price sensitive, so it is important to contact a local REALTOR® in your area to ensure your property is priced correctly.”

The tables directly below deal solely with single detached homes (SFH) sales. As we can see, last month’s sales were up significantly from January and January was up 1% from December.

The next two large tables show SFH homes sales by area for January and February. What I include, unlike the Board, is the % change in Unit Sales, Average Sales Price, and Median Sales Price vis-à-vis the previous month in addition to the previous year.

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Next, are the MLS Home Price Index and Benchmark Price Data for January and February SFH sales. According to the Board’s that have adopted this method of sales reporting, they are the most reliable tools for reflecting market trends. To quote from the VIREB stats package:

Quote: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.

If you were to plot both the HPI and Benchmark Price, you would notice the charts mirror each other. You can see this via my Sunshine Coast Jan/Feb 2014 stats post (scroll down to bottom of post). So, the % changes I offer for Benchmark Pricing is applicable to the HPI changes which is why I do not bother with that side of the table.

This Benchmark Price is the value placed on what the Board has chosen as a “typical” single detached home is each VIREB market area. If you look at February’s table, you will notice that for the “Islands” the value of that home has continued to drop since 2009 (you’ve got to love rising ferry costs!). Duncan is another area that is showing poor results. The only bright spot for home values is Campbell River which reflects its popularity for home buyers. It seems buyers are moving north. Overall, the Benchmark Price has still not recouped from the 2011 price dip which is why the Board says it is “cautiously optimistic” that slow growth will continue in 2014.

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I am adding a new chart with this post which will help give your eyes a rest from all the tables. This pie chart shows the year-to-date sales for SFH by price range. The majority of sales to date have occurred in the $300,001 - $400,000 followed by $200,001 - $300,000. Again, this is the VIREB market as a whole. This is valuable info for those putting their homes on the market. This data is released in a package to Realtors and some post the package on their websites. You can download it from Coast Realty Group and Nanaimo Re/Max Realtor John Cooper websites.

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The next tables show VIREB real estate sales by type for January and February on a month-to-month, year-over-year, and year-to-date basis. December, 2013 sales totalled 292 (SFH=210, Condo(Apt)=24, Condo (Patio)=14, Townhouse=23, Lot=21).

These tables are followed by the 2014 Market Statistics table. I have included Nov/Dec 2013 stats for comparison. Again, this data is released to Realtors and you can find it in the packages posted at the sites I mentioned above.

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There are three pieces of data in the Market Statistics table that are very important. The “Units Sold”, ”Units Listed” (new units listed each month) and the “Sell/List” Ratio. This past week, I explored the “Sell/List” ratio (dependent on Units Sold/Listed) for my Sunshine Coast stats and discovered this % actually helps you determine if its “Buyer’s” or “Seller’s” market. I am preparing a separate post that looks at this “Sell/List” ratio for SFH since 2007 and hope to post it shortly.

In the meantime, we can see that there has been a marked increase in new SFH home listings in both January and February. If sales (demand) doesn’t keep pace with new listings (supply), then this could put pressure on prices which is why in its February press release, the Board warns, “the market is still quite price sensitive.”

The charts below show New Listings, Total Active Listings, Units Sold for both SFH and Lots by month since January 2010. They are followed by the SFH Waterfront sales table and chart.

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VIREB - March 2014 Sales Stats:

March total sales stats (all types) for the VIREB market are showing a lot of green on a month to month basis in 2014. March’s total sales also bettered both March 2013 and March 2012; however, the total still remains below March 2011 totals and substantially below March 2010. The pattern is repeated for year-to-date sales on a year-over-year basis.

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The Market Statistics table above looks at the last five months for the Board overall (all areas combined). I will let you go through it on your own; however, I do think it is worth pointing out Active Listings have been in the negative for all five months compared to the same months in 2013. So, if demand is up and supply is low (or lower) then we should see prices rising and that certainly seems to be the case with Single Family Homes over the last five months.

Here is what the VIREB had to say about March 2014 Single Family Home sales in its press release included in the stats package:

Quote:Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area continued its marginal trend upward for the month of March.
A total of 357 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in the VIREB coverage area in March 2014. This represents a 27% increase over the 281 sales recorded both last month, and last year at this time.

According to BCREA chief economist, Cameron Muir, although unit-sales seem strong, it is important to compare these figures to the ten-year average to gain a more accurate picture of market trends. “When comparing unit-sales over a longer period of time, we are actually down 12.6 per cent from the ten-year average, but it is encouraging to see the market moving in the right direction.”

That -12.6% drop in SFH unit sales from the ten-year average is obviously significant; but, another reason for the Board to be cautious over the 2014 sales to date is the pattern seen in 2013 sales. There were only 6 month’s showing positive sales compared to the previous month and most of those positive results occurred in the early part of year with May being the peak month for sales and it was downhill after that.

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The next two rows of tables offers SFH stats in the major VIREB market areas. We can see that the average sales price dropped in 3 areas compared to the previous month and the median price dropped in 4 areas compared to February. The Benchmark price (said to denote trends) dropped in three areas compared to February and these drops would certainly warrant caution within those particular market areas.

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Looking at the sales-to-listing ratio over the whole VIREB market, we can see that the 2014 year-to-date figure is 8% points above a “buyer’s market” (under 35%). This is an increase of 4% over February’s year-to-date ratio (38%) indicating the pace of sales is more than keeping up with the pace of new listings.

Here are the SFH Sales by Price Range data. This covers the whole VIREB area and includes waterfront properties. The chart shows that the majority of sales are occurring in the $0 to $400,000 range accounting for ⅔ of SFH sales.

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It is important to note that each of the major markets within the VIREB breakdown these sales ranges differently:

Campbell River: majority of sales occurring in the $200,001 to $350,000 price range.
Comox Valley: in the $250,001 to $300,500 range.
Duncan: in the $200,001 to $350,000 range.
Nanaimo: in the $200,001 to $450,000 range.
Parksville/Qualicum: in the $200,001 to $450,000 and $500,001 to $600,000 ranges.
Port Alberni: $0 to $200,250 range.
North Island: $0 to $200,000 range.

This sales-by-price range data is not included in the VIREB month stats package. However, you can obtain from the Coast Realty Group stats webpage.

The charts below illustrate the pace of new monthly listings, listing totals and sales for both Single Family Homes and Lots since 2012.

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I will add single family waterfront sales data when it becomes available.
Here are the VIREB March 2014 Waterfront Sales. March sales dropped -41% compared to February and returned to the December, 2013 level of 10 sales.

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Apr-July 2014 VIREB Sales Stats - Part 1

Make yourself a big pot of coffee because I am posting 4 months of stats all at once (April - July). I will post the data in two parts and realize this is a lot to wade through, but it is the best way for me to handle it and thereby get caught up in one swoop.

I will try to offer some analysis of what I am seeing; however, I will keep it to a minimum given the amount of data and the fact I am sure viewers are capable of understanding and seeing patterns in the sales figures on their own.

2014 Month to Month Sales:
The VIREB market started the year with all cylinders firing. January was up +5% over December; however, by February and March total sales leapt ahead +24% and +34%. There was a bit of breather in April but May saw sales rise +21%. June sales hinted a change could be coming when single detached sales dropped -3% compared to May. July’s results reinforced this view that the market was turning when again single detached sales dropped -3% month-to-month and total sales dropped -2% compared to June - the first negative reading for total sales since December versus November, 2013.

Monthly Sales YOY &YTD Comparisons:
Starting with the April stats, I decided to make a change and now the year-over-year and year-to-date comparisons all relate back to the current reporting month. So, it’s Apr2014 vs Apr2013 (1YChg), Apr2014 vs Apr 2012 (2YChg), Apr2014 vs Apr2011 (3YChg), and Apr 2014 vs Apr2010 (4YChg). I thought this might be a more relevant (or at least a more interesting) calculation to perform then doing a year vs year percentage change calculation which is what I was doing before (Apr2014 vs Apr2013, Apr2013 vs Apr2012, Apr2012 vs Apr2011, and Apr2011 vs Apr2010).

Calculating the percentage change this way shows that April and May 2014 sales did not fare as well as some previous years; however, that was not the case for June and July sales which except for 2010 exceeded previous years’ sales.

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2014 Market Statistics:
The table is easy enough to go through on your own. What is worth pointing out is the “Units Listed” and “Active Listings” percentage change (%Chg) figure which is almost entirely in red across the table for every property type in every month. These negative readings began to appear back in August 2013, so for the last year buyers in the VIREB market have been pursuing fewer listed properties (all types) than in 2013 and late 2012. With such a scenario, this could lead to price increases and movement towards a “sellers” market. As we move through the data, we’ll see if this has in fact been the case in the VIREB.

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2014 Single Family Unit Sales:
On a month-to-month basis, we see how buoyant the island market was until June when sales dipped by -3% which is the first negative reading since last December. This downturn was reinforced with July’s -3% sales drop. These back-to-back negative figures could well indicate the selling season has more or less come to end for 2014.

The SFH Sales & Comparisons tables are straight forward so I will leave you to go through the April to July results on your own. You can keep in mind the drop in “Units Listed” and “Active Listings” that I mention above when you look at the Average and Median Sale Prices - have these prices been impacted by a lower supply of properties? My thought is that it depends on the market area with only Campbell River showing the most consistent increase in average sale price month to month; however, even that area shows red when it comes to the median sale price month to month.

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SFH - Home Price Index and Benchmark Price:
According to the boards that use this reporting system, the HPI and Benchmark Price offer the best means of denoting trends in the marketplace. This certainly seems to hold true for the Sunshine Coast when I looked at that market’s data. On the island, it’s obvious that overall the market is more active and prices have risen compared to previous years, but not by much. The area that interests me is the “Islands”. If we look at the 3Y%Chg in Benchmark prices, there has been a significant drop from -7.8% to -14.3% depending on the reporting month. One might be tempted to conclude that living a life heavily influenced by the price and schedule of a BC Ferry might be losing its lustre.

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Single Family Home Sales-to-Listing Ratio:
The last time the VIREB as a whole could boast of having a “sellers” market was prior to 2007 when the sales-to-listing ratio was equal to and greater than 55% (Note: the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says a “sellers” market exists at 55-60%, so I’ll be generous and set the bar at 55%).

So, on a month-to-month basis this year only June and July show there existed a “sellers” market even though the SFH sales dropped -3% each of those months - it all hinges on that relationship between the number of units sold and the number of units listed each month and the latter has been dropping for the last year as I mentioned above.

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On a month-to-month basis we see that the year-to-date sales-to-listing ratio had a nice 3% increase from April to June; but, July’s results shows that the VIREB market has lost momentum. I have a feeling this will be as high as the ratio will go in 2014 and the year may end around the 47% mark. I can’t explain why - it’s just a feeling; so, I have a very good chance of being wrong…LOL.

to be continued…
Apr-July 2014 VIREB Sales Stats - Part 2

Single Family Home Sales-by-Price Range:
When you look at the VIREB market as a whole, you see the majority of sales are occurring below the $400,000 price point; it’s happening on the Sunshine Coast, too. On the Island, the two price ranges between $200,001 and $400,000 now account for 58.7% of all year-to-date single family home sales which is quite amazing. Anyone with a home listed above the $500,000 price point shouldn’t count on moving any time soon; it’s worth remembering that patience is virtue.

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I’ll end this VIREB stats post with two charts. The first shows single family home listings, total active listings and units sold. You can see how the chart illustrates what is occurring in the 2014 Market Statistics table: a drop in the supply of units compared to 2013 and 2012. I am wondering if the 2012 supply didn’t contain properties purchased as “investments” and now with them sold off we are seeing a more realistic marketplace.

The second chart is for vacant lots. I averaged out the number of sales for 2014 (35 lots/month) and at that rate there is nearly a two year supply (23.6 months) of vacant lot listings. It should be noted these lot listings do not include waterfront or acreages.

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I am still waiting for data on waterfront property sales. I will post that information when it becomes available. Otherwise, that is all the news that is fit to print for April - July, folks. Yeah, I did it - I'm all caught up!!!! Tongue
July 2014 SFH Waterfront Property Sales:

Here’s the July data for VIREB single family home waterfront sales. As you can see, the number of WF properties sold continues to rise; however, the average sales has dropped again for the second month compared to May’s figure - now a difference of -$226,613. Perhaps, smaller lot sizes are the reason for price dip.

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I’m getting caught up on the VIREB stats and am throwing four months at you all at once (Aug – Nov). It was hell putting this together (oh, stupid me) and will be hell for you to wade through. So, to make it somewhat easier, I am breaking it down into sections and will post them over a few days. This first post is the overview of all board sales by type on a month-to-month basis (first table) and then a year-over-year (YOY) and year-to-date year-over-year (YTD-YOY) – August to November tables.

Let’s start by looking at what the VIREB had to say about each month...

August Sales:
Quote:Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for August released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity in the VIREB coverage area was down 8% when compared to August 2013. A total of 361 single‐family homes sold on the MLS® system in August 2014 compared to 454 last month. July saw stronger‐than‐anticipated sales activity, and August’s dip was not unexpected, as sales are generally slower in the summer months.

September Sales:
Quote:Sales activity throughout the Vancouver Island housing market area rose in September, indicating increased consumer confidence and paving the way for strong fall sales. However, since sales in September 2013 were relatively weak, the higher numbers posted last month don’t represent a hotbed of robust activity. Rather, they indicate that the market continues to be balanced for both buyers and sellers in the VIREB coverage area.

October Sales:
Quote:Sales activity throughout the VIREB coverage area in October 2014 was down slightly from September, but still significantly higher than October of last year, resulting in our strongest October since 2009. Although the higher sales posted this October are encouraging, sales last fall were weak by comparison. As a result, balanced market conditions continue, which is good news for both buyers and sellers.

November Sales:
Quote:Slow and steady growth in the housing market continues to be the prevailing theme throughout the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) coverage area. Although unit sales dropped considerably from last month, they were up five per cent compared to November 2013, demonstrating that the market continues to improve overall. The month-over-month dip in unit sales from this month to last month is attributed to an unusually strong October rather than being indicative of a weak November.

The data in tables below bears out what the board had to say for the four months. There was a good drop between July and August sales, but they kicked off again in September and then slowed down in both October and November with a -28% drop between those last two months. But, the board is absolutely correct in saying that 2014 sales are now at levels not seen since 2009 and this will come evident in subsequent posts.

Now grab a coffee, kick back and without further ado - the stats...

VIREB Aug-Nov 2014 Sales Stats – Part 1

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Next up is the '2014 Market Statistics' table. What I have been pointing out in previous stats posts should be pointed out again – the drop in Active Listings each month on a year-over-year basis. 2014 Buyers are chasing fewer listings than last year and generally when active listings drop prices tend to go up and an overall look at the Average Price on a year-over-year basis for each month and each property type seems to bear this out (the exception: Condo (Apt) sell prices from September to October).

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To be continued...
Every month the VIREB President or President-Elect offers his take on sales. Let’s take a look at those comments over the last four months...

Quote:President Elect Jason Finlayson is encouraged by the strong summer showing.

“August 2014 sales remained strong in the Vancouver Island housing market area, continuing to reflect a balanced market,” notes Finlayson. “Most REALTORS® had busy summers, and we expect that trend to continue into the fall.”

Quote:The numbers don’t surprise VIREB President Blair Herbert, who anticipates healthy sales activity to continue throughout the fall.

“September is traditionally busier for most real estate markets, and we don’t expect that to change in the coming months,” states Herbert. “Our REALTORS® are busy, and there is a lot of business in the works.” However, Herbert notes that the overall snapshot of market activity isn’t always an accurate picture of the motion occurring in a particular community.

“It can even vary by neighbourhood, which is why it’s important to contact a local REALTOR® for a better idea of what’s happening in your area,” says Herbert. “In strong sales markets, consulting a REALTOR® is vital to ensure that you have up-to-date information on house prices for your specific location.”

(Skook Note: Do you get the feeling more and more sellers on the island must be turning to the likes of the to squeeze every last penny out of a sale. That’s the impression I get from then Prez’s remarks...LOL.)

Quote:VIREB President Blair Herbert is encouraged by the numbers and reports that REALTORS® in the VIREB coverage area are consistently busy.

“October sales indicate that our market remains balanced,” says Herbert. “But as the year draws to a close, we’re seeing lower inventory levels and housing sales sitting at 15% higher than this time last year, which is beginning to place upward pressure on the market.”

Quote:“There were no big surprises in November,” said VIREB President Blair Herbert. “The steady growth we’re seeing in the board area continues to reflect balanced market conditions, which has been a trend for some time now.”

VIREB Aug-Nov 2014 Sales Stats – Part 2

It’s time to zero in on the VIREB’s single family home sales and let’s be honest those are the only sales stats that everyone is “assumed” to be interested in. Yep, detached home sales – now the average Canadians’ favorite “must follow” pastime on a month-to-month basis as the “true and most trusted” indicator of how well our economy is doing. If those detached sales and their average sale prices are up, then we all can breathe a sigh of relief because the universe is unfolding as it should.

It’s been unfolding very well on Vancouver Island when we compare single family home (SFH) sales on a month-to-month basis in 2014 versus 2013. Yes, the past two months sales have moved into the red relative to preceding months, but that is to be expected – it’s that time of the year. However, the year-to-date unit sales are substantially up as we can see in the November YTD-YOY table in the Part 1 post:

Nov 2014 (4092) up +10% vs 2013 (3733); up +19% vs 2012 (3425); up +13% vs 2011 (3627); and, up +12% vs 2010 (12%).

As for sale prices, YTD the 2014 average SFH sale price sits at $343,110 compared to $328,105 in 2013. If the December average sales price continues at the same level, 2014 will set a new all-time high for the VIREB (See: ‘VIREB Average Sales Price (Single Family Unit) 1995 – 2012’ table in the post ‘VIREB - Historical Sales Data 1995 – 2012’)

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(Note: I have added the purple box shading in the tables above to highlight VIREB data corrections month-to-month.)

So, everybody should be happy with the Average SFH Sales Price on the rise, right? Well, maybe the celebration should be muted because you have to remember that everything gets thrown into the pot when it comes to the “average” sale price.

No, according to the Board, it’s the new MLS Home Price Index that best indicates “price trends in the market.” This is because...

Quote: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.

So, with that in mind, the picture isn’t quite so rosy. The HPI and Benchmark Price follow the exact same trajectory and look at all that red in the tables below that indicate negative percentage changes. The November 2014 data shows not only figures lower than the preceding month but lower than both Nov 2011 and Nov 2009. Oct 2014 was lower than both Oct 2011 and Oct 2009. Do we have a trend? Are both sales and prices falling?

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For fun, I took the 2014 Benchmark prices to date for all areas and calculated the average: $314,873 and did the same for Jan-Nov 2013: $309,327. It will be interesting to see how December pans out especially if oil prices continue to drop. The latter could be particularly significant for the VIREB market and I will be telling you why I think so at the end of these updates.

To be continued...
VIREB Aug-Nov 2014 Sales Stats – Part 3

There is no doubt that 2014 has been good overall for detached home unit sales in the VIREB real estate market. The tables above prove year-to-date sales have bettered every year back to and including 2010. So, what are sellers buying on the island? The table directly below shows monthly detached sales-by-price range for the VIREB market as whole. The pie chart maps the year-to-date totals for each price range.

The $300,001 - $400,000 price range accounts for 32.7% of year-to-date sales followed by $200,001 - $300,000 (26.4%) and $400,001 - $500,000 (17.3%). For comparison, the majority of year-to-date sales on the Sunshine Coast likewise occurred in the $300,000 - $399,999 range (33.8%); however, that market reverses the VIREB’s next two results with 17.8% occurring in the $400,000 - $499,999 range followed by $200,000 - $299,999 at 15.1%. I’m not sure if the Sunshine Coast results are a reflection of the listings (stock available) or buyers (more money to spend) – I think it might be more the latter if the majority of buyers are coming from the lower mainland.

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According to media reports in October, real estate boards in the major markets (Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto) were reporting that detached home sales were attaining levels not seen since 2009 and this is certainly the case now for VIREB year-to-date sales (same for the Sunshine Coast, too). The figures in the November ‘sales-to-listings’ table in the second row below show that YTD (Jan-Nov) detached sales stand at 4092 surpassing the year-end totals for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The November ratio itself (55%) now matches that attained in 2009 which is at the “cusp” of being a “sellers” market which according to an individual board’s interpretation begins at ≥ 55% or ≥60% - I decided to be generous at set the bar at 55% in the chart.

With only December left to report, it is highly unlikely 2014 will end above 55% and according to the VIREB the current “balanced” market will continue next month and into 2015.

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(Note: The sales-to-listings ratio is calculated by dividing the month’s sales by the month’s number of new listings and then multiplying the result by 100).

The following charts are a welcome break from all those data tables above. The SFH chart visually reinforces what can be seen in the 2014 Market Statistics table posted earlier – that 2014 total active listings are at a lower level than 2013 and significantly lower than in 2012.

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If buyers are chasing fewer detached listings, do we see an increase in prices? The answer has to be no according to the Benchmark price tables above. In fact, detached home prices have barely kept up with inflation. According to a recent comment (#26, bullwhip29) on

Quote:...mkt corrected in 08/09 and basically flatlined for some 6 yrs or so (while RE prices elsewhere, global stk mkts etc ripped higher);...confirmation that island RE as an investment is a dog.

Here is a look at VIREB vacant land listings, total active listings and sales.

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Waterfront property 2014 Year-to-date (Jan-Nov) sales stand at 243 exceeding the 2013 YTD figure by 2 sales (241); at the current pace, 2014 will definitely exceed the 2013 total of 251 sales.

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Each month, the VIREB contacts Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist, to get his two cents on market conditions. I will end this four month VIREB update with those report quotes...

Quote:BCREA economist, Cameron Muir, reported that things continue to look very positive overall on the Canadian economic front. While improved economic conditions are expected and welcomed, Muir noted that, “We may see slightly higher mortgage rates by the end of the year, as a result.”

Quote:BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, reports that the VIREB coverage area saw its strongest summer since 2009 and expects that upward trajectory to continue.

“The retail sector has seen a boost in activity, indicating increased consumer confidence, which is certainly reflected in the housing numbers,” said Muir. He doesn’t expect interest rates to rise any time soon, noting that they continue to echo the reality of Canada’s overall housing demand.

Quote:BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, reports that although job growth isn’t as strong as hoped, consumer spending is on the upswing, which indicates optimism regarding the economy and has a positive effect on home sales.

“We’re seeing continued economic growth year over year, but do expect that rate of growth to relax somewhat in the coming months,” says Muir. “However, we nevertheless expect balanced market conditions in line with inflation to continue into 2015.”

Quote:Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, states that the housing market is improving and expects balanced market conditions to continue, with housing prices reflecting an inflation rate of approximately two per cent.

“2014 is shaping up to be the best year we’ve had for some time, and 2015 is looking even better,” says Muir. “Although overall economic growth in 2015 likely won’t accelerate to 2006 levels, we’re certainly expecting housing sales to continue ratcheting upwards to a higher plateau.”

2015 is looking even better? With these new oil prices? Well, we shall see.