Real Estate Facts vs. Fiction

(July 20, 2012 , posted in Local Interest)

There is so much information circulating with various opinions and speculation on what is going on with the Real Estate market in Vancouver that it is often hard to know what is true and what is not.  As either a Buyer or Seller it is a big mistake to rely on this information to make your Real Estate decisions.  In order to be informed it is important that you have access to the actual numbers, not just the opinions circulated by the media. The best way to do that is to work with a Realtor who has extensive knowledge of  your area and can provide you with both historical and current statistics which will make the overall picture come into focus.

When I see articles like "Vancouver sales hit a 10 year low" I get frustrated because all that takes into account is the whole of Greater Vancouver.  Within the city there are many sub-areas, and each one is affected differently depending on overall desirability and demand and this is further affected by the type of housing:  detached, attached, apartment. There is no possible way to look at the entire picture and make any sense of it in terms of specific areas or types of housing.

As an example, the average price for a detached house in North Vancouver in the last 12 month period is:  $752,102.  However, if you look at specific sub-areas that changes dramatically.  Forest Hills, the most sought after location in North Vancouver due in part to its highly reputable schools, boasts an average home price of $1,419,129 for the past 12 months, and saw 29.6% MORE sales in the period June 2011 - June 2012 than it did the year previous.  Pemberton Heights, just a short drive away only reflects an average home price of $755,939 for the same period.  This sub-area had 25.7% MORE sales in the one year period June 2011- June 2012 than it saw the year previous also.  Obviously "Vancouver Sales hit a 10 year low" doesn't apply here. 

If I was working with a Seller in Forest Hills I would break the statistics down even further and look at average prices based on more specific price groupings, type of construction (new vs. resale), and I would then compare those numbers  with similar properties that I would pull from the MLS.  For an example of how the stats look click here. As you can see with each step the numbers become a little clearer.  As a consumer, if you are armed with the right information you can make better decisions regarding these types of transactions. 

To make prudent Real Estate decisions it is important to have the correct tools at hand to weed out the facts from the fiction.  A Real Estate professional can guide you through the information and the process.  It is very important that you work with a Realtor who has extensive knowledge of local markets and can present you with(and decipher if need be) the data that is necessary to make informed decisions.  As always, feel free to contact me if I can provide you with this or any other information about the local Real Estate market.