Buyers Starting to Gain the Upper Hand?
Detached Sales in White Rock/South Surrey continued to decline over the past quarter while the Benchmark Price flat lined over that period. After reaching a high of $1,018,955 in August, the Average Price declined 10.0% in September to $917,244, not too far off the Benchmark Price but still quite a bit ahead of the Median Price of $770,000 which also de-clined from last month.
When you compare all of these figures to 2010, things are looking pretty rosy for Sellers, but when you look at the trend over the last six months, a different pattern emerges. The highest number of sales in any one month this year oc-curred in March, with 249 units changing hands, 144% more than September. The fewest sales occurred in January, a traditionally slow month, when 71 houses were sold. Since March the number of sales has been declining steadily each month. Note that the Average Price climbed steadily during that time until this past month. The Benchmark Price climbed as well but not as much.
Meanwhile new listings continue at a steady pace averaging about 225 per month over the past three months. With a decline in the number of sales happening coincidentally, the Active listing total now stand at 636, the highest total in any given month this year. As a result the Sales to Active Listings Ratio for September for Detached House in our area stands at 16%, barely a Buyer’s Market. Prepare for slower sales over the next little while many overly optimistic Sell-ers try to capitalize on the record high prices especially in the upper price range. The current trend in prices and sales is likely to continue over the historically slower fourth quarter market conditions.
As I mentioned in the last Quarterly Report, the Chinese buyers have been the driving force behind the surge in high end sales that we have been experiencing here on the Peninsula since February. Over 37% of the Buyers that have ei-ther bought one of our listings or bought some other company’s listing through one of our agents have had an Asian name, yet only 3.5% of Sellers had a name of Asian origin. I do not see an end in sight to this trend as our area is still a bargain in off-shore buyer’s eyes. According to reports that I have read elsewhere what is happening here is not unique. Cities with International reputations like New York and London are apparently experiencing a run on the high end properties but the middle of the road market remains flat. Again the Buyers are generally Asian. It is also interest-ing to note that Detroit’s new international airport has bilingual signage and it isn’t French.
If you do have your property on the market and you are involved in a sale to an off-shore buyer, be prepared for some interesting negotiations, as there are some definite cultural differences in the way business is conducted. Also be par-ticularly cautious if the buyer has no status in Canada and ensure that a larger than average deposit be in place when conditions are removed. Whatever you do, use a licensed Realtor who is acting on your behalf to handle the transac-tion, preferably one from our company where they are trained in dealing with such matters.
HomeLife Benchmark Realty Corp.,