It's always interesting for me to read the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's stats and see media reporting on the "Vancouver Market." The reality of the current market is that different sub-areas and property-types are experiencing very different activity levels and resulting pricing trends and these trends do not always relate closely to the Board's averages.
Here are a few examples:
Condo Listing/Sales activity in the following areas:
Active listings: 212 (this is actually down from the same period last year when we hit 275 listings some months).
Sold last 30 days: 8
Months of active inventory: 27
Last year same period sales: 37 - That's a 78% decrease in sales volume year over year.
All of Downtown:
Active listings: 1402
Sold last 30 days: 99
Months of active inventory: 14
Last year same period sales: 216 - That's a 54% decrease in volume year over year.
Active listings: 275
Sold last 30 days: 18
Months of active inventory: 15
Last year same period sales: 51 - That's a 65% decrease in volume year over year.
So, in the "Downtown" area, sales volume is off between 54% - 78% while according to the Board's latest stats summary (download pdf) they publish a year-over-year decrease of 18.8% in sales volume for the condo category and an increase of 0.3% in the Benchmark Price of condos for June 2012 vs June 2011.
Given these stats and the recent sale of a north-west corner suite at Fairmont Pacific Rim at a price more than $1,000,000 below two more or less identical suites that sold in the same building a year and a half ago, it's difficult to convince Coal Harbour buyers that prices are up.
Read more about this phenomenon here.