Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Vancouver’s condo market expected to sit in buyers’ territory for the rest of 2018: expert

As Vancouver condo inventory increased in July in the face of plummeting sales, one Vancouver realtor says the market is favouring buyers and will continue to trend in this direction for the rest of the year.
Last month, a total of 427 condos changed hands in the city, down 22 per cent from a year ago, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
July’s sales were also 20 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
“We’re entering into a slower period from a seasonality perspective so I think that you’ll probably continue to see the market trend towards favouring buyers. I think inventories are going to keep building up here and I don’t expect sales to get stronger in the back half of this year. I think for buyers it’s definitely encouraging,” Vancouver-based realtor Steve Saretsky tells Livabl.
In a blog post, Saretsky writes that, so far, condo sales have declined each month this year and dropped to their lowest total for July in six years.
Saretsky attributes the fall in sales to a combination of factors, including government intervention and higher interest rates.
With condo sales dropping and more supply hitting the market, inventory is on the rise in the condo segment.
In July, Vancouver’s condo inventory hit a three-year high for the month, increasing 32 per cent compared to a year ago.
Saretsky says supply still remains low on a historical level but is starting to grow — an uncommon trend in the city.
“Over the last couple of years, the trend has been lower inventory and more sales and now it’s fewer sales and higher inventory. So, buyers and sellers alike have to adjust to that,” says Saretsky.
While the city is experiencing a slower sales pace, Saretsky says prices are still holding up relatively well.
He adds that condo prices peaked in the beginning of 2018 and have been declining ever since.
“Condo prices have definitely topped out and I would say they topped out in Vancouver probably about four or five months ago. And, since then, it’s been a steady decline lower. I would say typical condo prices are off about 5 per cent from their peak,” says Saretsky.
Last month, the average sales price of a condo dropped two per cent compared to a year ago.