The record-breaking real estate market cycle in Greater Vancouver, longer than normal at seven consecutive years, ended in 2008 amidst global economic challenges. The change brought relief from rising prices that saw benchmark prices escalate from $357,770 for a single family detached home in December 2001 to $648,421 by December 2008.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties decreased 35.3 per cent in 2008 to 24,626 sales compared to 38,050 sales in 2007. Property listings for the year increased 13.9 per cent to 62,561 compared to 2007 when 54,945 new properties were listed.
“Trends in the latter half of 2008 showed a consistent month-over-month decrease in residential housing prices, a departure from the rising home prices and record-breaking sales that were experienced in Greater Vancouver for much of this decade,” said REBGV president, Dave Watt.
“It’s also important to note that our December statistics show a third consecutive month of a decrease in active property listings in Greater Vancouver. That means supply is coming down,” Watt said. “Last month was also the first time in 27 years that Greater Vancouver homes sales for December were higher than November.”
Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, declined 10.9 per cent between Decembers 2007 and 2008. Since May 2008, the overall residential benchmark price has declined 14.8 per cent in Greater Vancouver to $484,211 from $568,411.
“For buyers, lower prices haven’t been a concern as much as the perception that prices are falling. It’s difficult to identify the ‘bottom’ of the market. The reality is that people tend to buy when prices are going up, not when they’re going down,” Watt said.
In December 2008, sales of detached, attached and apartment properties totalled 924, a decrease of 51.3 per cent compared to the 1,897 sales in December 2007. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 8.6 per cent to 1,550 in December 2008 compared to December 2007 when 1,695 new units were listed. Total listings in December declined 17.2 per cent to 15,193 from the 18,348 total active listings in Greater Vancouver in November 2008.
Sales of detached properties in December 2008 declined 48.7 per cent to 348 from the 679 units sold during the same period in 2007. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 11.2 per cent from $730,399 in December 2007 to $648,421 in December 2008. Since May 2008, the benchmark price for a detached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 15.9 per cent.
Sales of apartment properties declined 53.7 per cent last month to 417 compared to 901 sales in December 2007. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 11.7 per cent from $377,579 in December 2007 to $333,275in December 2008. Since May 2008, the benchmark price for an apartment property in Greater Vancouver has declined 14.5 per cent.
Attached property sales in December 2008 decreased 49.8 per cent to 159, compared with the 317 sales in December2007. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.4 per cent from $456,941 in December 2007 to $423,338 in December 2008. Since May 2008, the benchmark price for an attached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 11.6 per cent.
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