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Spin and Hype: A look at the reality of 2010 Vancouver real estate sales

Blog by Shaun Kimmins | June 24th, 2010

Given how difficult it is to get a straight answer as to what is happening in the Vancouver Real Estate Market these days, I wanted to provide you with some hard evidence so here are a number of graphs illustrating the number of sales, by month from 2005 through May 2010.

The data below was taken from the REBGV MLS system and while deemed to be correct, is not guaranteed. I have compiled graphs for the following areas and provided a summary below:

       ***Graphs represent the total # of REBGV MLS sales by month from 2005-2010

Coal Harbour: situated on the northern waterfront in downtown Vancouver, BC - right beside Stanley Park, Downtown & The West End

coal harbour.jpg

Downtown: all of the downtown Vancouver peninsula (including Coal Harbour, Downtown, The West End & False Creek North)

Vancouver-west - Detached housing in Vancouver's west side


Vancouver-east: detached housing in Vancouver's east side


Don't believe the everything you read

While media articles might lead you to believe otherwise, I have been saying to clients for some time now, "This year feels a lot like 2008 did heading into summer." Looking at these graphs, it's clear that in all cases, MLS sales for May 2010 are very low and on a downward trajectory. In 3 out of 4 cases, second only to those of 2008. In the case of Coal Harbour, they are lower than those of 2008! If you believe the papers, you'd think everything is fine and that "the market is hot". So what's the difference?

Spin and Hype!

It's in the interest of many of the Vancouver's biggest real estate players as well as thousands of increasingly-hungry, new realtors to promote what I call unrealistic optimism.  For developers this is obviously intended to bolster sales of their new and soon-to-be-completed projects and for the many realtors, this is presumably intended to bag new listing business.

The reality is our market is slowing dramatically after the interest-rate-driven rally of 2009 and with interest rates on the rise, the imminent implementation of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and what seems like an increasing likelihood of a second global recession, even the spin doctors and Vancouver's king of condos, Bob Rennie, won't be able to hide from the numbers forever.

The Chinese are buying?

That's what I keep reading and hearing. This may be true but if they are, it looks like nobody else is. The numbers don't lie and the truth is, 2010 MLS sales #'s are looking more and more like those of 2008.

What should you do?

 if you are serious about selling into the current market, be real, price properly and most importantly, hire a local area specialist. If you're "Not in a rush" or "Don't have to sell" or "are just testing the market", do yourself and everyone else a favor and delist or don't list at all. All you will do by listing above the market is reduce the market value of yours and everyone else's properties.

Anti-Nike: Just Don't do it.

Call me.