October 3, 2021

Vancouver real estate market is one of the top booming markets in North America, right up there with San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Toronto.

We will be analyzing the updated real estate market trend for July 2021, and I will also tell you what I think about it in this video.

We will look at two reports sourced from Zillow and the real estate board of Greater Vancouver and analyze them.

I highly recommend this video for you if you are interested in strategizing for purchasing a home or upgrading and upsizing your home.

90% correct transcript

Vancouver real estate market is probably one of the craziest in north America, up there with San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Toronto. So in this video, we're going to give a quick update on the July, 2021 real estate market trend. And I kind of share with you on how I think about the real estate market. So I got two reports here. One is from Zillow and another one is from the real estate board of greater Vancouver. So we'll go through both of these reports, analyze them and help you kind of strategize if you are looking to purchase your own home or think about when to kind of upsize your home as well. So let's first look at price. So here you can see the charts goes from August, 2020, all the way to July. What you will observe is that there's actually usually a dip in the winter months.
This is because the housing market is slower. There's less open house, less people are willing to sell, and you can see the price was actually pretty crazy back in April, may and June. And now in July. It's good to see that the housing market is cooling down and there's less craziness in the market. Now, when you're looking at the different categories of property types here, you can see the most attractive is approximately to three and four bedrooms. When it comes to detached homes and for townhouse use, there's actually a significant increase for all of them. And we'll actually talk about this. Once we look at the later charts and the next report as well, and this is mainly due to inventory and a number of active listings and for condos, um, you see a general increase as well. For three bedroom condos you can see is actually quite expensive because if you can pay for a three bedroom condos, then why don't you just pay for a three bedroom townhouse where you get access to more space and potentially land.
Now, one of the reasons why there's such seasonality in place is really because of the inventory level of the thin Coover housing market. So here you can see, even though this is a COVID year, there's actually a sharp decline of inventory from November all the way to January. So if you are looking to purchase, there's going to be less selection in the winter months, but it's also going to be less competitive because you can also see to number of units being sold as declining as well. Now, after that in the new year, you know, people will start looking for houses again during spring time. And at that point, the amount of inventory in the markets is still relatively low. So that's where you get the craziness of people start bidding up the prices and it kind of starts to peak in the April. May, June timeframe is when you reach the maximum inventory.
So when you think how the news get it out would be, oh, people are buying now. And the real estate prices are going up and this in turn attracts more sellers to put their house on the market to get it sold as soon as possible. So then you will see inventory, keep building up, building up, building up until it reached a peak around June. And that's also when prices have reached a peak as well. So if you go back up here June, perfect, and now you can see the market is cooling down. So if you are trying to strategize and you're looking to buy your first home or upgrade your home, then you'll try to buy during the winter months here, when you can see the number of units are lower being listed and sold, and the price is also lower. And if you're trying to sell, then you will try to sell early summer when the inventory is still building up and the prices are going up and people are bidding like crazy.
So those are really the two strategies that you can have when you're analyzing the housing market. So after that, there isn't too much to talk about here. So we're going to jump over to the real estate board of greater Vancouver. And this is the July, 2021 report. And here you can see something called active listing. So that is really the number of listings on the market. There's 4,000 detached homes, 1000 townhouses and 4,000 apartments. And because of this kind of unequal distribution of listings, you actually see that there are very few listing for townhouses. And this is a combination of factor that drives up townhouse price overall, because a, when developers are acquiring land and applying for a rezoning, it will make more money building apartments because it has hundreds of units. And if they're buying a small pot of land, like five, 10 houses together, then it's more profitable for them to build apartments.
And if you just drive around Vancouver, you can observe that already. And going forward. The way I think about the housing market is that you're going to get a large influx of apartments. So once you have reached a certain level, chances are apartments are not going to be going up that much. It still is going to go up in terms of price per square feet, because developers are building more and more expensive condos, more and more luxurious condos. Um, but in terms of land value increase, you're going to get an okay increase of townhouses. You still see some developments here and there, but you're going to get a decline of detached homes. So right now, if you look at the market today, 1.8 million, that seems pretty crazy for a detached home. But if you look at the map for Vancouver, then you'll realize that there's no more land remaining to build patch home.
So let me show you what I mean. So here's Google maps. And if I look at Vancouver and I ask myself, okay, where else can I build more detached homes? Well, I can't because it's already done building, it's all covered. So the only option as a developer I have now is I buy some existing homes and then convert that into townhouses, or I convert that into apartment buildings. So that is really kind of the future for the greater Vancouver area. And if you're looking at Richmond here, you can see there is some farm land available, but these are usually restricted by zoning laws. So unless the zoning gets changed and the number of houses that are available will be the same and they can get converted into townhouses, but we're really talking about an additional 10 units, 20 units for each conversion. So that is a very slow conversion process.
And you will see a lot of condos, hundreds of condos being built near this area in the center of Richmond. And if you're looking for detached homes, then the new area to kind of find a tach home is really and Langley or some of the suburb area where there is more lad. So if you just look at the greenery of the map, you're really looking at Langley Langley too. Um, and perhaps this maple Ridge upper area as well. So that's how you would think about it in terms of expansion. So what does that really mean? It means that there's no more supply for detached homes. And if that is the case, then it is really difficult for the price to go down. And if you think it is expensive today, then you can think of detached homes like Bitcoin. You know, the reason why the price for Bitcoin is so high is because there's only so many of them.
And over time, um, once all the coins are mined, there is no more. So that's why the prices are so crazy. And for townhome, it will be in a similar situation as well, but it will be a slower increase because obviously you can convert the tach homes to townhouses. Uh, and finally for apartment, you'll get a high volume of them, which means that it wouldn't increase as quickly. But when you're looking at apartments, the way it would work is the developer will need to buy five, 10 detach homes at this price and then convert it into apartments. Plus the building costs plus rezoning fee. So if detached homes are really expensive, apartments are not going to be that cheap anyways. And when you think about the apartments are being built, if you're looking for a premium, um, luxurious living, then obviously the price per square feet will be high as well.
So altogether, um, you will find the real estate markets have a fairly strong uptrend, mainly due to delimited supply. Now, one of the questions that's, I guess people ask a lot is think Coover markets at the top, and here we'll find the sales data. And in July, 2020, you can see that 3,128 units are being sold in July, 2021, 3,326 units are being sold. So what do you observe here is that it is high price and high volume. And this is kind of interesting. And some people are going to say it's because of COVID. That's why July, 2020 is a slower year. And I'll give you more data by going to last year's report. Uh, the 2019 year reports. So two years ago, and here you will find in 2018, that units sold is 2070 and 2019. The units sold it's 2,500. So if you're looking at a market and you think the market is at a top, what you should observe is a high price, but low volume.
So you have very expensive homes and no one is buying it. That's what it means when the market is forming a top. But right now, what you're observing is two thousand two thousand five hundred, 3,100, 3,300. So you're observing a high price and high volume. So that means the market is still very hot, getting hotter, and it is not slowing down yet. If you are already a homeowner, then that's obviously good news to you because the housing market is hot and your property value is going up. But if you're looking to buy a new home, then that means time is working against you. So you probably want to buy a new home as soon as you can. And previously we talked about when is a good time to buy a new home, and that should be around the winter months when there's less competition. So that's how I think about the Vancouver real estate markets. There was nothing too much remaining in this reports to talk about. And if you like this kind of video, then let me know in the comments below, let me know what you think about the Vancouver housing markets or your own local real estate markets. And if you're planning to buy a home and what's your strategy, so I'll see you in the next one.

About the author 

Eric Seto

Eric Seto is an investor with over 10 years of experience. He travelled around the world to help with auditing, accounting, purchase and sale of companies.

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