Market Update April 2016

April 11, 2016

Absolute craziness. There are literally no other words for what we are seeing in our market right now. A new record is set every single day while buyers are getting priced out at an incredibly fast rate.


Before we launch too far in, let’s start with the usual metrics. The numbers shown below are a ratio of the number of active listings (at end of month) over the number of sales in that month.


Numbers above 7 are considered to be buyers’ markets, below 5 are sellers’ and in-between are considered balanced. Beside the number, I’ve indicated the direction the market moved when compared to the previous month.


Months Supply Van West Van East North Van Richmond Burnaby New West
Detached 2.5 Same 1.7 Down 1.0 Down 1.8 Down 1.4 Down 1.2 Up
Attached 0.9 Down 1.1 Down 0.6 Down 0.8 Down 1.0 Down 0.8 Down
Condo 1.0 Down 0.8 Down 0.9 Down 2.2 Down 1.0 Up 1.7 Same


The numbers above are simply shocking. There are 10 different categories above which there were more sales in the month than there are homes on the market at the end of the month. Put another way – if no new listings came on the market, we’d run out of homes to sell in that category before the end of the month. The month of March saw a 23% increase in the number of sales (3322 compared to February’s 2684) while the total amount of listings FELL just under 9% (4386 in March compared to February’s 4709).


To put this in a slightly wider historical context, the sheer number of sales is more than any month in the 5 years I’ve been running my spreadsheet and the number of listings is lower when compared to any month in that same spreadsheet.


Truly, these market conditions are crazy. Now I know that the real “fun” of these email updates are the anecdotes that we share, so let me share a few (and if you want more, call us any day and we’ll be happy to share). Let’s start with a condo tower near Brentwood Mall where in 3 successive weeks, 3 units sold and all the units were the same orientation/square footage. On March 8, the 7th floor unit sold for $424,800. March 16th saw the 4th floor unit sell for $455,000. March 29th saw the 11th floor unit sell for $492,888. It is fairly clear that the demand is so strong right now that if the buyer of the 7th floor place (who likely still hasn’t actually completed or moved in yet) wanted to, they could probably sell for a tidy profit.


I could also tell you about the clean, but dated house in North Van on a nice lot in a quiet neighbourhood listed for $1,399,000 that saw 22 offers and sold for $2,067,880 (with two other buyers willing to pay over 2,000,000). Or I could tell you about the downtown live/work condo that just sold for $690,000 when our client bought the exact same unit with a better outlook in October for $559,000.


The question of significance is when will it end and what will that look like. Obviously, an accurate answer to that question is impossible. However, given the level of activity we are currently still seeing, the end isn’t here yet. There are simply too many people still lined up at every open house and showing, and too many disappointed buyers who are still looking for a home. However, it is entirely reasonable to expect that this market will shift in the not too distant future.