Vancouver Real Estate - May Days and Million Dollar Sales

Vancouver's downtown core areas continue a steady pace of home sales - despite our slow transition into typical spring weather.  The first long weekend of the summer is just weeks away but a long way to go - before the camping gear is out and tested.  The Downtown, West End, Yaletown and Coal Harbour areas show no signs of slowing at the moment with the main "drivers" being low - record low -  interest rates, strong migration numbers to the lower mainland area - both from within Canada and abroad - and great selection covering all price ranges, both new and old. Just take a walk down Drake Street - 4 new developments are well past the dig and pour stage.

The Globe and Mail continues its constant forecast of a "bubble" or "crash" or "major market adjustment" for the Vancouver area.  Great - coming from someone who doesn't live here and not seeing what is actually happening and why.  Using typical historic matrix modules - they are relying on past statistics.  No need to repeat - but Vancouver has bucked just about every trend there is - over the last 5 years.  And when I say Vancouver - there are extremely fine lines throughout the City that dictate home pricing -  in relation to the neighbourhood of choice.  Hence, local knowledge can challenge most articles being written from afar.

Since January of this year there have been 835 recorded sales in all 4 areas.  Downtown shows 328 sales, Yaletown with 247 homes changing hands, the West End posting 163 and Coal Harbour in at 96.  The "million dollar" club is still rock steady.  The following will demonstrate just how view - both water and mountain - factor into pricing.  Of the total sales in the Coal Harbour area, 35% of these were above the million dollar mark.  Yaletown and the West End hovered in the 15% range and the Downtown shows 4.2% of sales - above one million dollars.  Factors here - most are either on the waterfront or close to it - and/or have a view.  Whether its False Creek, English Bay or Burrard Inlet - water sells. 

A look back. 

Interesting to see the number of sales over the past years - for the same time period I speak of today.  2006 shows 1294 sales.  2007 produced 1300.  2008 in at 1090.  2009 - after the financial crisis - held at 868, very near where we are today.  2010 recovered nicely at 1112 sales and last year we saw 1129 for this same period.  A bit of a dip but when you live in paradise - these can be short lived.  So why the reduced numbers this year ?  Simple - the frenzied buying of 2004-2007 is basically over - on some fronts.  Yes, there is a very strong off shore influence buying detached homes throughout the West Side but that - like most taps - could dry at any moment.  All you really have to do is - it takes about 10 minutes on a bike - tour Drake Street, the Main and second area and yes, behind the "old" Olympic Village up to the Cambie bridge - to see the amount of new product coming to market.  No need to enter into multiple offers these days - unless of course you find THE perfect home - that suits your needs.  No doubt the economy is playing a role as well.  Many who staved off disaster in 2008 - are seeing an extremely slow recovery.  Just walk Robson Street - the "For Lease" signs - are now the most prominent brand on the block - even out-numbering Starbucks.

Tired of the endless news articles, unofficial blogs and predictions that stir up a very steady pot ?  Contact me anytime for a chat.  A stroll through the waterfront just may shed some light - on what is really happening with the Vancouver real estate market.  Truth - like water - sells.


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