The Landcor BC 2008 Residential Sales Summary was released earlier this week with some surprising statistics. Although there was an overall (anticipated) 28% decrease in the number of residential sales in BC in 2008 (over 2007), the average sales price increased 10% over 2007. This sounds hard to believe amidst all the negative media out there, but is most likely due to the sales in the 1st and 2nd quarters weighing heavily on the stats. The price drops we have seen in recent months are often not reflected in statistics until a later date so I would expect them to show up in next years' stats.
Other highlights of the report are detailed here:
* Detached homes and vacant land had the greatest decrease in number of sales and condos the least.
* Q4 was miserable with a 36% drop in sales over Q3.
* Out-of-province buyers down by 37%.
A note on the out of province buyers: Albertans still remain the leaders. 69% of out of province buyers hailed from Alberta in 2008. The most popular areas for them to purchase included the Okanagan and the Kootenays and condos and vacant land were their most popular choices for types of real estate to buy.
As I mentioned above, the price increases seen in 2008 were in my opinion a result of strong sales last Spring before the market really started to take a turn for the worse. I would expect to see decreases in prices as we review 2009 statistics.
The good news is that since prices have started to become more competitive in recent months, the buyers have started to return to the market. Many of our clients are reporting more inquiries and deals going through in the last month. In addition, many sellers are becoming aware that the market has changed and pricing their homes well. Hopefully this will be enough to give the market some pep again and we'll avoid a situation similar to what they have in the US (although things are starting to look up there again too in some areas).