Jan 2010 23

Metro Property ‘not overheating’

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Good news for Metro Vancouver’s home buyers - the city's real estate market is hot but not overheating according to new data released Friday by the Conference Board of Canada.

While Metro Vancouver home sales rose three time higher than sales last January, board senior economist Robin Wiebe said new listings also rose keeping the overall market in balance.

“Though the market is closing on the top of the balanced range, buyers are provided with a reasonable choice as they go out searching for homes,” said Wiebe. He did add, however, that “it wouldn’t take much to tip the market over into seller’s territory.”

That is one factor that has the Conference Board putting Metro Vancouver on the list of cities it expects will see property prices rise between five and just under seven per cent along with Victoria, the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Regina, Ottawa and Halifax. Of added interest to buyers and investors, is the Conference Board's estimates that no Canadian city will see price decreases in 2010.

The Board’s examination of sales figures took into account December’s sales and estimated that if home sales continued at the same pace, Metro Vancouver would see 50,016 homes sold over 12 months compared with a 12-month pace of just 18,138 based on December 2008’s results.

However, calculating the same figure for December’s new listings shows that Metro sellers were on pace to list 73,938 homes for sale over 12 months compared with a pace of 54,306 new listings based on December 2008’s results.

The resulting ratio of sales to new listings of 72 per cent, Wiebe said, places Metro Vancouver close to the top of the range that the Conference Board considers a market that is balanced between buyers and sellers. That range is between the sales-to-new-listings ratios of 44 per cent and 75 per cent.  

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