Archive for April, 2009

Month on Month Sales Growth – BCREA Report

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

On April 15th, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in BC declined 35% to $2.3 billion in March, compared to the same month last year. Residential unit sales declined 25% to 5,464 units during the same period. The average MLS residential price in the province was $424,122 in March, down 12% from March 2008.

However, Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, noted “While fewer MLS® residential sales were recorded last month compared to March 2008, home sales actually climbed 24% from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the second consecutive month of gains.”

A significant increase in affordability helped fuel demand for BC housing last month. “Reduced mortgage interest rates have effectively doubled the impact of lower home prices on affordability,” added Muir. While the average sales price in BC declined 12% from a year ago, the monthly payment on the average priced home was 24% lower. “Housing is now more affordable than at any time in the last three years,” noted Muir.

Interesting Reading – 2009 Wealth Report

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The 2009 edition of The Wealth Report, the third such collaboration between the UK’s Knight Frank estate agency and Citi Private Bank, indicates that whilst luxury house prices have fallen around the world, the appetite of the super-rich for property remains undimmed.

There were wide variations in performance. Hong Kong saw the sharpest annual drop (-24.5%), but prices for residential properties in Bangkok rose 22.5%. Additionally, some previously buoyant markets have turned very quickly. Dubai, which recorded annual overall growth of almost 11%, saw prices fall by 19% in the last quarter alone.

According to PIRI, prime property in Monaco is the most expensive in the world costing an average of €55,000 per square metre for the best properties. London and Manhattan are placed second and third respectively.

The first Knight Frank World Cities Survey illustrates that New York and London are likely to remain the world’s leading financial centres, but Asian cities are catching up. In the same survey, London takes poll position for global influence by securing top-five positions in four key ranking criteria – “economic activity”, “political power”, “knowledge & influence”, and “quality of life”.

Despite house price falls, the Knight Frank/Citi Private Bank Attitudes Survey shows that almost 55% of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) plan to increase their exposure to residential property over the next two years.

Property sales strengthening – encouraging Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver report

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The REBGV posted the following report on Friday, April 3, 2009 demonstrating a surge in house sales in March, 09.

VANCOUVER, B.C. The Metro Vancouver housing market experienced a movement away from volatility and toward stability to start the spring season.

Home sales in March 2009 returned to levels witnessed at the beginning of the decade, with 2,265 sales recorded across Metro Vancouver for the month, a 53 per cent increase over February but a 24.4 per cent decrease over March 2008, when 2,997 sales were recorded.

Since 1999, March sales have increased 31 per cent, on average, over the month of February. March 2009 marks the second consecutive month that sales have outperformed the ten-year average for this month-over-month comparison.

“There’s more confidence in the housing market today than we were seeing late last year. Sales activity is rising to more typical levels given the season, and the number of homes being listed for sale is levelling off,” said Scott Russell, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

New residential listings on the MLS® declined 22 per cent in March 2009 to 4,385 compared to March 2008. This is the fifth month in a row that new listings have decreased year-over-year and the third consecutive month where those declines exceeded 20 per cent.

Despite these trends, total active listings at the end of March 2009 had still reached 14,579, a 19 per cent increase compared to the end of March 2008.

“REALTORS® are seeing an increasing level of interest from first-time buyers who are attracted to low interest rates, good supply of housing, greater affordability, and a considerably lower overall cost of servicing a mortgage compared to recent years,” Russell said.

Sales of detached properties in March 2009 declined 19.6 per cent to 897 from the 1,116 units sold during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties declined 15.1 per cent from March 2008 to $649,342.

Sales of apartment properties declined 28.8 per cent last month to 976, compared to the 1,370 sales in March 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 13.5 per cent from March 2008 to $337,099.

Attached property sales in March 2009 decreased 23.3 per cent to 392, compared with the 511 sales during the same month in 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 11.2 per cent between March 2008 and 2009 to $420,563.

For more information please contact:
Craig Munn, Assistant Manager of Communications
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Phone: (604) 730-3146

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