condo/townhouse market

Is the Condo/Townhouse Market Cooling?

Steve Saretsky -

Attached Market Shows Minimal Signs of Slowing

Yesterday I discussed how the Detached Housing Market Takes Heavy Blow in August. Today I’m going to break down what I’m personally seeing in the condo/townhouse market and what the numbers show us.

I’ve talked about it before and i’ll say it again, stats are subjective. Depending on who you ask you’ll get a different answer on what is happening with the market. It also kind of worries me how disconnected some Realtors are with current market conditions, not all, but some.

Yesterday I was listening to the Bigger Pockets podcast, it’s a real estate investing podcast if you’ve never heard of it. The hosts were interviewing a seasoned investor named David Gudmundsen.  David was a former Realtor and current investor who has bought and sold over 800 properties. He had a brilliant quote if you want to get the truth out of a Realtor. He said call one up and tell him “I’m not telling you whether i’m a buyer or a seller. What’s the market doing right now, should I buy or sell?”

I highly recommend that podcast episode if you’re a real estate geek. But I digress.

Here are your attached market stats for the month of August 2016.

As per the Real Estate Boards Processed Sales Numbers:

August 2016 Sales

Vancouver West: 393 sales
Vancouver East: 140 sales
Richmond: 262 sales
Burnaby: 230 sales

How does this stack up to August of years previous?

[table id=2 /]

So let’s break this down. Clearly sales are down from August of 2015. Although it’s nothing crazy like we are seeing in the detached housing market. For the most part this month was on par with historical averages.

But are sales prices down?

[table id=1 /]

Yes median sales price is down for August. However, we can’t look too much into that because the composition of what is selling can vary from month to month. Although this backs up with what I’ve been saying- the lower end, more affordable inventory is selling.

So what do we take from these August 2016 numbers?

From what I have witnessed on the front lines the attached market has cooled slightly, but for the most part remains quite hot. I’m not seeing nearly as many multiple offer situations even though days on market has not changed.

A month ago Realtors would write offer dates in the Realtor remarks section of the MLS. It would look something like this:
“Open House Saturday & Sunday 2-4PM. Offers on Monday at 5pm”
However I rarely see that now. It’s first come first served on offers now.

I’ve spoken with Realtors who say this is a great time to buy, it represents a Summer cool down and an opportunity for buyers to not compete. I say take that advice with a tremendous amount of caution. It’s too early to tell for sure, but let’s see how September (a historically busy month) plays out.

There are some signs of cooling albeit minimal. Median sales price down, number of sales down, fewer multiple offers.

As David Gudmundsen the guest on the BiggerPockets podcast went on to say, “It’s impossible to time markets, but look for the signs, when markets turn it’s like watching a cruise ship doing a U turn, it doesn’t turn on a dime.”

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