It's been a busy and beautiful summer and, so far, autumn. So much so, I didn't get the August stats out to you, so we'll do an August and September summary here for you.
Comparing sales figures to last year is a little misleading, in that sales volume dropped to well below the 10 year averages due to the feds tightening up on the mortgage lending rules in June 2012. The numbers look very strong when we compare the months of August and September 2012 vs 2013, so a better measure is to look at the 10 year averages instead.
August sales volume was slightly below the 10 year average for the month by 4.6%, while September was just 1% below. If we were to look at August 2013 vs August 2012, we are up 52.5%, while the September comparison shows we are 63.8% up.
One of the reasons for this increase was the slight increase in mortgage rates. While still at record lows, we saw rates increase from a low of about 2.89% to around 3.59%. That along with some pent up demand from last year's slow down has helped to see sales volume come back up to average levels.
This has not translated to an increase in home prices. “It’s important to remember that stronger sales activity does not necessarily equate to rising home prices. In fact, home prices have not fluctuated much in our market this year,” said Sandra Wyant, REBGV president.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $601,900. This represents a decline of 0.7 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to January 2013. This does, of course, fluctuate from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, as well as by property type.
Vancouver's westside finished September in a balanced market state. The eastside sat at a seller's market for both detached and attached property segments, while apartments were in a balanced market.
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