How is the Local Real Estate Condo Market? 

(March 24, 2014 , posted in Market Update)

Vancouver Condo Housing MarketReal estate is local. What is happening on Central Lonsdale is a completely different market than what is happening in Coal Harbour. Therefore, the only way to really answer the question, “how’s the market?”, is to break it down by specific area and price band.

Overall  in the heart of Vancouver including the North Shore, the attached housing market (Condos & Townhomes)  is currently a strong Seller’s Market. With the exception of West Vancouver, which is hovering at around 14% sales ratio making it a Buyer’s market, homes and condos throughout Vancouver are selling on average in 15-20 days and very close to list price. Even though spring activity has begun, inventory is still low making it a more competitive market place with Buyer’s eager to find what they are looking for before anyone else.

Vancouver Downtown:

Total inventory in downtown Vancouver for February was 845 condos and townhomes - 186 of which sold, making it a 22% sales ratio and officially, a Seller’s Market. The most active areas of downtown (broken down into Coal Harbour, Downtown, Westend and Yaletown) were Downtown and Yaletown and the average sales price was $502,500 which is 9% higher than this time last year. Several new towers in Yaletown and Downtown definitely contribute to these sales figures. Buyer’s are privy to the benefits of buying new. Even though taxes must be paid on the purchase, there are some rebates to be had and the comfort of home-owner warranties that come with a new place can impart great peace of mind. 

Buyer’s best bet: $800,000-$900,000 / $1.75-$2 mil / 3 bed+ condos in Coal Harbour
Seller’s best bet: $300,000-$500,000 1bed condos in Yaletown

Vancouver Eastside:

Total inventory for Vancouver’s Eastside for February 2014 was 528 condos and town homes - 162 of which sold, making it a 31% sales ratio and officially, a Seller’s Market. The most active areas of the Eastside are Collingwood, Fraserview and Mt. Pleasant and the average sale price was $345,500, slightly down from this time last year. The most active price band is between $700,000 and $800,000 and average days on the market last month was a remarkable 7 days! Who doesn’t love to sell their home in a week?

The average price per square foot downtown is $638 and a significantly lower $475 on the Eastside. Of course one of the great benefits of Eastside neighbourhoods is the average price is still considerably lower than in downtown. Transit, bike lanes and walking distance to burgeoning neighbourhood centres makes living just outside of downtown increasingly appealing.

Buyer’s best bet: $500,000-$600,000 in Hastings, Killarney & Renfrew area
Seller’s best bet: under $500,000 / 1bed condos in Collingwood & Fraserview area

Vancouver Westside:

Total inventory for Vancouver’s Westside for February 2014 was 869 condos and town homes - 178 of which sold making it a 20.48% sales ratio making it officially a Balanced Market but only a half percent under the qualifying rate for a Seller’s Market. Certain pockets of the Westside such as Cambie (50%), Kitsilano (25.66%), Fairview (21.76%) and Mount Pleasant (38.89%) presented strong Seller’s Markets in their own respective categories.

The most active price band is $0-$300,000 with an average sales ratio of 32% in this price band. This of course, is one of the highlights of buying on the Westside - older buildings with studios and some 1 beds can still be found for $300K, plus several new buildings are trying to compete with this resale inventory by keeping prices well below downtown averages.

Overall the Westside condo market remains an excellent alternative for its proximity to downtown, its access to transit and bike lanes, as well as its favoured healthy lifestyle with a plethora of beaches, parks and wholesome food eateries. The price per square foot sits right in the middle between downtown and the Eastside at $592 per square foot and you have the benefit of shopping older inventory many of which are generously sized condos when compared to downtown averages.

Buyer’s best bet: $1.5M-$1.75M / 3bed properties in Oakridge, South Granville & University
Sellers best bet: $300,000-$600,000 / 1bed / $1.25M+ / 4bed homes in Cambie & Mount Pleasant

North Vancouver:

Total inventory for North Vancouver in February was 498 condos and town homes - 105 of which sold in an average of 14 days making it a 21% sales ratio and officially a Seller’s Market. Central and Lower Lonsdale are the most active areas with the most listings and the most sales; however, Lynn Valley is also showing good activity.

Several new towers and boutique apartment buildings are under construction in the Central and Lower Lonsdale area as the entire area is following in the guidelines of an aggressive Official Community Plan that hopes to revitalize the commercial district of Lonsdale with more appealing, newer businesses and an urban community that is targeted at those who wish to have easy access to downtown via the Sea Bus, but enjoy the lifestyle of living on the Shore close to trails and ski hills. 

If you're thinking of buying in the condo market, be prepared with a pre-approval and work with a knowledgable Realtor to help you get the best deal in this competitive spring market. More inventory has come on in March but the good ones are selling fast! 

Stay tuned and subscribe to my blog for continued updates on the condo and housing market to come!