Conversations about real estate are as common as conversations about the weather lately. Although news of Vancouver’s heated property market has been dominating news headlines nationally, Squamish has been following the same real estate fate. There’s no doubt that when Vancouver sneezes, Squamish catches a cold, but just how similar are these two markets? Here is what the numbers say…
Properties have been selling in record numbers in both Vancouver and Squamish. In the height of the property market this March, Vancouver recorded 5196 sales. In the height of Squamish’s market, which occurred in April, it recorded 99. The decrease in sales from the height of the market to September has been 55% for Vancouver and 58% for Squamish.
Verdict- Vancouver and Squamish are comparable with regards to the decrease in property sales between March and September.
*REBGV is Greater Vancouver
Everyone has been talking about the crazy home prices and this conversation piece is commonplace in both Vancouver and Squamish. Between March 2015 and March 2016 average sales prices jumped 24% in Vancouver and 21% in Squamish. So what have the sales prices been doing lately? Although Vancouver saw a sharp dip in July, the average sales price in Squamish has remained relatively stable dipping ever so slightly from the heights of July/August.
In Squamish for most of the year the average sales price has been over 100% of list price, this dropped off in July with August being 96% and September 96.9%
Verdict- Sales prices in Squamish are remaining steady while they are dropping ever so slightly in Vancouver
Low property inventory is being touted as one of the biggest reasons prices are escalating so quickly in Vancouver and Squamish. At the end of 2015, listings were a scarce commodity. In December 2015 there were only 15 new listings on the market in Squamish compared to 115 new listings which came on the market in March 2016. In the graphs below you can see Squamish and Vancouver are following a similar trend with listings. This trend is also showing a regular seasonal tendency, with the bulk of listings coming on the market in Spring, a lull during summer and then a small momentum shift in the fall before listings generally quiet down around Christmas.
Verdict- Squamish and Vancouver are following usual seasonal trends with listings
Days on Market
Days on Market (DOM) indicates property market activity. The fewer days on the market the quicker properties are being purchased. The more days on the market the more likely price reductions and expired listings will occur.
In March the average days on the market of a property in Vancouver was 9, in Squamish it was 14. Here is what DOM has been doing in recent months.
Although Vancouver has remained relatively steady with regards to days on the market, Squamish has seen a rapid rise of DOM. For seller’s this means they should no longer expected their property to fly off the shelf, for buyer’s this presents an opportunity to take their time before submitting an offer and to submit offers more competitively than they were able to do in prior months.
Verdict- Properties in Vancouver are still selling quickly while properties in Squamish are staying on the market longer than they were this Spring.
Sales to Active Listings
Sales to Active listings is the best metric to assess when determining a buyer’s or seller’s market. The ratio measures a balance between supply and demand and is calculated by the number of unit sales by the number of active listings. Based on this ratio a seller’s market is declared when the ratio is above 20%, and a buyer’s market is declared when it’s below 12%. Anywhere between these numbers the market is said to be balanced. Here is what the sales to active listings ratio has been doing in Squamish and Vancouver recently.
As you can see, both Squamish and Vancouver had very clear seller’s markets this Spring. According to the ratio, Vancouver still has a slight seller’s market with a ratio of .23 in September while Squamish dipped to .17 showing a balanced market for the first time since January 2015.
Verdict: It’s a seller’s market in Vancouver and a balanced market in Squamish
As the statistics show, the Squamish and Vancouver real estate markets are deeply intertwined. It is clear as we move into winter the strong seller’s markets that were present in Vancouver and Squamish this past Spring are beginning to soften. The balanced market environment is a great time for both buyers and sellers. Sellers can be happy that prices are holding strong although quick sales above list price and multiple offers are far less likely to occur. Buyers can delight in more inventory on the market and no longer need to rush into purchases often facing multiple offer situations.
Move to Squamish is a resource site and buyer’s agency service helping people research, plan and find the perfect home or investment property in Squamish. If you are considering moving to Squamish or would like any listing information, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Move to Squamish today.