What happened last year?
Once again 2013 was an interesting year in the Vancouver marketplace. Month supply levels for detached homes started with a buyer’s market surplus with a 9 months supply at the beginning of the year, and finally by the end of the year transitioned into a shortage of product or sellers market at under a 6 months supply. 2013 showed a 14% increase in total number of sales in Greater Vancouver over the lowest point of our market correction in 2012. At the end of 2013 we had one of the busiest fall markets since 2009. In December alone, for all product in Vancouver the year-to-year activity (Dec 2013 to Dec 2012) was up 34.5%. For detached houses, this year-to-year activity in December increased by a staggering 79.3%. Product in several price points and detached homes could not hit the market fast enough and many sold once again in multiple offers (although there were still a few lagging condo segments). Another metric we follow to track and predict the market is the Sales Ratio (see graph below) which tracks the ratio of sales to listings.
As you can clearly see, the Vancouver Westside market exploded into a strong Sellers market at year-end setting the stage for this year. There are several factors that have contributed to this strong market recovery. The biggest factor has been consumer confidence returning to the market, primarily driven by local buyers. The second factor is a pent up consumer demand from the “wait and see” group; now realizing the market is turning. Third and finally prices across many product segments have reached a level the local homebuyer will more actively support and commit to. These three factors coupled with a positive BC Election, and continued low interest rates have stabilized the market in 2013 and contributed to this robust recovery.
So what does 2014 have in store? Now that the holidays have come to an end, and most of the bills have been paid, the yearly cycle begins again in our market. This month will start off once again with a large group of buyers in the market, hungry for new listings. As some of you may know up to 60% of the sales for the year take place between January and April of each year. This highlights the importance of getting your home on the market at this time of year to maximize exposure if you are looking to sell in 2014. All indicators and Forecasts are pointing towards price increases through 2014 across the board. The level at which our values appreciate will be set as we progress through the spring market. But be prepared for a solid and stable recovery in pricing this year especially on detached houses followed by ½ duplexes, and some townhomes.
Can we still get a good deal on a purchase? Yes! For those of you who have been looking to buy and waiting for inventory to arrive, now is the time you will start to see this happen but be prepared to act on the good deals as they arrive on the market. Unlike us, most agents do not operate under a high impact aggressive marketing campaign, coupled with time delay strategies, to maximize the sale price of a listing – so good deals can still be found in this recovering active market if you follow our advice and act quickly.
Adam and I are happy to meet with you to discuss your goals (whatever they may be), and how our team can assist you to achieve them in 2014!
We look forward to this new year of 2014 and we welcome your calls and are thankful for your business and referrals!