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I am often asked how the market is doing. There is much more to this question than many realize.


The number of factors that go into what drives a market is quite vast: supply, demand, where the supply is coming from, the rate at which supply is coming on the market, the rate they are selling, price fluctuations, etc.

So how do we see trends and how can we take advantage of them?

This is where stats can help with some of that organization of data.
For today's article, I will focus on the stats generally used in the real estate world to convey an overview of what the market looks like.

One of the stats that is widely used is avarage home price. This is the average sales price for homes usually within the last month. They are often compared to last month's or last year's numbers to show a short term or longer term trend.
Though this does give you an idea as to where the market is roughly, take it with a grain of salt in a smaller market like the Sunshine Coast. A new development hitting the market with higher or lower priced properties could skew the numbers or we could have a particularly slow month where the market could actually be affected by just a few sales, especially if they are particular outliers in terms of price.

It is also good to look out to see if it is an average sales price or a median sales price.

A median sales price shows the exact middle value of all the sales and doesn’t take into account the amount the others sold for.

For example, if 11 houses sold, the median would be the 6th house in the list independent of the values of the other houses whereas the average takes all of the values into consideration.


The next stat is the H.P.I. or Home Price Index.

CREA.CA states, “The MLS® HPI is based on the value home buyers assign to various housing attributes, which tend to evolve gradually over time. It therefore provides an “apples to apples” comparison of home prices across the entire country.

The MLS® HPI is based on the value home buyers assign to various housing attributes, which tend to evolve gradually over time. It therefore provides an “apples to apples” comparison of home prices across the entire country.”


For more information on the H.P.I., check out the CREA page: https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/mls-home-price-index/


Have you often heard about the labels buyers market, balanced market, or sellers market?

Do you know where they come from and is there a specific number that defines them?


There is.


There are a few different ways to determine which market we are in and though they use the same logic, they have slightly different formulas to reach the answers.

So it is pretty obvious what sellers and buyers markets are; sellers market is where the sellers have an advantage because inventory is low and a buyers market the buyers have an advantage because there is a lot of inventory and they have the advantage.


To determine how much inventory you need for each, the first technique is to calculate the months of inventory, or MOI. You take the number of listings currently on the market, divide it by the number of sales (usually from last month as stats are always released at the end of the month) and that gives you your MOI number.


Any number over 6 it is deemed a buyers market. There is enough inventory that at the current rate of sales, will last 6 months if no new listings become available.

And MOI between 5 and 6 is a balanced market. This is a typical market where neither the buyer or seller has a particular advantage.

And if the MOI is under 5, it is a sellers market as inventory is dropping to the level that demand is rising and listings are selling faster.


To put this year’s spring market in perspective, March of 2020 had a MOI of 1.6.


The other common way to calculate it is sales to listing ratios. You divide the current number of NEW listings by the number of sales from last month.

If the number is over 60% it is a sellers market, balanced being 40-60% and under 40% a buyers market.


To check out the stats for yourself, check out https://www.rebgv.org/market-watch/summary-of-homes-listed-and-sold.html


If you would like more information, please reach out to me, dan@dantsuji.com.

If you are thinking of selling your home, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation, free home estimate of what your home is worth in the current market.



CREA.CA (2021) What is the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)? -https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/mls-home-price-index/

REBGV.ORG (2021) Summary of Homes Listed and Sold - https://www.rebgv.org/market-watch/summary-of-homes-listed-and-sold.html

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By Justin Kerby Jul 8, 2021
 

There’s no question that the real estate market in British Columbia has been white-hot over the last year. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, we’ve seen significant year-over-year increases in sales and home prices across the province. The province has now entered phase three of BC’s Restart Plan, as an increasing percentage of the population has been vaccinated, and fewer individuals are testing positive for COVID-19. If case numbers and hospitalizations continue to decline, BC should enter phase four around September 7, 2021. 

With such rapid changes taking place, there are dozens of trends to watch that could affect BC’s real estate market. COVID-19 changed the real estate landscape in BC, and its departure will continue to impact the market. Here are eight real estate trends you should be watching closely as BC reopens. 


1. The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

When the pandemic began, the Bank of Canada brought interest rates to all-time lows to soften the impact of job losses and a slowing economy. Rates have remained at 0.25 percent throughout the last year. 

Benjamin Tal, the Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC, says that the sensitivity to higher interest rates is “the number one issue facing the Canadian economy.”  Though the US Federal Reserve has indicated that they won’t touch interest rates until 2023, Tal believes that Canada could move quicker. As interest rates in Canada return to pre-pandemic levels, it’s expected that home price growth could slow. 


2. Easing Sales Numbers

Sales volumes are running at record highs right now, with 14,000 units per month exceeding the previous highs in 2016. Demand has simply outpaced supply, and because of this, units are not staying on the market for long very long - it’s not been uncommon for homes to sell in a weekend in Greater Vancouver. 

It’s hard to predict when sales numbers will begin to ease, but the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is forecasting housing activity to ease over the second half of 2021 and into 2022. The association says that sales declines are forecasted to be the largest in BC and Ontario.


3. Implications of the Revised Mortgage Stress Test

Given the hot housing market, new rules have been introduced in an attempt to cool things off. The real question to ask is, will it work? The revised mortgage stress test is just this kind of rule, intended to cool off a hot market by forcing homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage at nearly twice the current posted rates. As of June 1, 2021, the minimum qualifying rate for both insured and uninsured mortgages is the rate offered by your lender plus 2%, or 5.25%, whichever is higher. 

Overall, the revised mortgage stress test has been said to reduce home seekers buying power by as much as 4%.  For those currently trying to enter the market, the new rules could make entering even more challenging. 


4. Sales to Active Listings 

Analyzing sales to active listings is one of the best ways to measure supply and demand and determine whether or not we’re currently in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. Currently, sales to active listings ratios are near all-time highs in most of the province, particularly in Greater Vancouver. June’s sales to active listings ratio was 34.7% in Greater Vancouver, down from 39% in May. That’s still a strong indication of a seller’s market, which is typically defined as any market where the sales to active listings ratio is greater than 20%. 

To see a buyer’s market where prices typically decline, the sales to active listings ratio would have to fall below 12%. We’re still far off from that number, but it’s worth watching to see if the ratio continues to dip lower.  


5. Month-Over-Month New Listings

Another important trend to monitor that’s moving slightly downward is month-over-month new listings. Here’s a look at the numbers for new listings in Metro Vancouver from April, May, and June.

April: 7,938 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale in Metro Vancouver

May: 7,125 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale in Metro Vancouver

June: 5,849 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale in Metro Vancouver.

Many have called for more supply to meet demand in Metro Vancouver, but with fewer homes being listed, it’s hard to imagine things getting much easier for buyers anytime soon. 


6. MLS HPI Benchmark Price

The MLS Home Price Index provides information about benchmark home prices across the province, including price information on townhomes, apartments, and detached homes. You can view benchmark prices in individual cities or regions as well, which is a great way to spot trends as BC reopens. Month over month, things are still slowly creeping upward as prices reach all-time highs in many communities throughout the province. For a high-level look at the market, MLS HPI Benchmark Prices are great to follow. 


7. Office Vacancy Rates

Canadian commercial real estate was hit hard during the pandemic, but things are looking up - or at least better. A new report from CBRE suggests that the pace of office vacancy increases is finally easing, while at the same time industrial demand is reaching unprecedented levels. Vancouver’s industrial availability rate is just 1.1%, and with rapidly limited land and rising costs, CBRE believes that Vancouver will be out of industrial space in just six months

As more workers return to major city centers, expect downward pressure on office vacancy rates in the not-so-distant future. 


8. Shifts in Household Preferences

Perhaps the most interesting trend to follow as BC reopens is whether household preferences return to match pre-pandemic interests. Many policymakers believe that preferences driven by the pandemic will naturally wane, while others feel that the new dynamic is here to stay. 

As some return to work while others continue to work from home, we’ll no doubt see shifts. The pandemic pushed many individuals further from the city in a quest for more affordable and more spacious housing options. Time will tell whether these preferences will continue to shape the market as BC reopens. 

 
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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.