Wreck Beach

Ontario to Wreck Beach

Vancouver’s west side includes some of the most expensive real estate in the entire city. Known for sedate well manicured neighbourhoods, beaches, parks as well as the west end and coal harbour the west side offers many forms of residential real estate. In the past 3 days we have taken market snapshots of West Vancouver, North Vancouver and East Vancouver. On this, the last day of the 4 day series, we will look at Vancouver West.

Recently, opinions declared that Vancouver West has in the past few months, been subject to a demographic influence which generated detached home price points previously unimagined. In this snapshot , that influence may not have had impact expressed in that opinon.

Vancouver West

For the period covering March 30 to May 30, Vancouver West Detached detached homes experienced the following market activity.


Listings dipped from 1026 in March/April to 929 in April/May.


Sales dropped 47% from 191 in March/April to 101 in April/May.

Expired, Reductions, Increases, Days on Market

  • March/April saw 38 listing mandates expire slowing to 31 in April/May.
  • Price reductions in March/April totaled 199 and 192 in April/May.
  • There were 45 price increases in March/April and 44 in April/May.
  • It took 29 days in March/April to sell a home. That period was shorted to 24 days in April/May.

Average and Median List Price/Sold Price

Average List price

  • March/April – $2,061838
  • April/May – $2,032,915

Median List price

  • March/April – $1,690,000
  • April/May – $1,699,000

Average Sold price

  • March/April – $2,022,397
  • April/May – $1,965,061

Median Sold price

  • March/April – $1,720,000
  • April/May – $1,688,000


Only 8% or less than 1 in 10 of the homes comprising the listing inventory sold in both periods. Viewing almost any real estate market this would not be considered healthy. Combined with an unstable and generally reducing median and average sold price this market is not in the best shape. Considering the hype generated by the demographic influence that was supposedly driving this market the current view does not seem to justify that excitement.

The number of listings on the west side though declining, is still a shoppers paradise – if your budget allows for this level of expenditure. Seeing the smallish price declines relative to this market does not suggest that anyone has walked away with bargains in hand.

Looking at the four markets it is fair to say that there is a change in buying attitude that is verified by the minimal number of sales recorded in all areas.

It is hard not to anticipate that this change in the market will be an influence that soon will preclude these markets continuing in their present form. Simply, something has got to give! If low sales numbers continue in combination with the high level of inventory it is reasonable to expect one or all of the following events – a fast growing flood of price reductions, a huge increase in expired listings and/or a substantial drop in prices. Either or the combination of these event will appear and look like a wreck on the beach.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

Samsonite Says:
May 31st, 2010 at 7:28 am

Incredible, the fall off in sales in gigantic.

I am surprised by the decline in listings in most of these markets, expecially this one. I rent in this one, and I note a lot of For Sale signs and few ugly orange Sold stickers.

Larry, listings overall are rising, to what do you attribute the decline in these areas?

Sales are falling, that is key. I agree with boombust, I think that great houses are selling (there are still lots of lusting buyers running about with low pre-approved mtg rates in hand…although this group is declining in size).

MOI is rising, and tomorrow we may have an increase in the BoC rate which could/should raise bank prime rate and increase the amount of dollars coming out of every variable rate loan in the country. This will have an impact over time.

So my view is consistent with your’s Larry, the market HAS CHANGED and the changes are starting to become more clearly evident in the stats. What I look for next is a dramatic increase in listings. Let’s see if this unfolds.

May 31st, 2010 at 11:11 am

“What I look for next is a dramatic increase in listings”
If the inventory continues to grow as you suggest the scenario will get worse.

Roland Leung Says:
May 31st, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I have been observing your stats for the last few weeks and I noticed the Sales/List beginning to pick up since a week and a half ago. Insteading of hovering around 33% in April and early May, it has slowly creeped up to above 66% the last week or two. What could have caused to uptick? If it continues like this, you can kiss the notion of a balanced market goodbye for the foreseeable future.

Best place on meth Says:
May 31st, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Really Roland?

I just don’t see what you’re seeing, maybe you should look again.

Roland Leung Says:
May 31st, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Just look at today’s Sales/List = 202/248. We were consistently getting 33% sales/list in April and early May. I didn’t have a record of the last 10 days of the Sales/List, I believe Mr. Yatkowsky can attest to it for the uptick in the last few days. Thanks.

May 31st, 2010 at 6:28 pm

@meth is using numbers from another site and it is that which has prompted his response. Looking back, the position you claim is valid based on the numbers supplied by me. Do keep in mind that they are time stamped for a reason. The numbers are dynamic and will change throughout a 24 hour period. This is validated mostly by broker load which operates beyond the boundaries of the board’s Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm regime.

The presumption on my part is that the majority of the listing/sales numbers are still recorded at the board level and as such, provide a general snapshot of the days activity prior to the board’s 5 pm cutoff. They are however, not the final count for the day which is assumed to end at 11:59 pm. – ergo my time stamp.

Be aware that several individuals post these numbers at various times on various blogs. Each will vary. The time stamp is provided so that you know when the data was retrieved allowing you to adjust your market view accordingly.

RavingBull Says:
May 31st, 2010 at 8:10 pm


you must be smoking the good stuff – is your dealer local?

As Larry points out, his stats cut off, there are often a number of listings that pile in late in the day.

sell/list is ugly. i hope you are not.

May 31st, 2010 at 9:47 pm

well that was a bit harsh! Be kind. Being helpful is good for you health. 🙂

As I pointed out, Roland’s point is valid if he only looks at the Daily numbers provided. I’m not sure why the change occurs later in the evening but I’m not going to stay up to find out. As such, Roland’s premise is incorrect when you consider the total picture as stipulated by @meth.

Perhaps Roland you may want to take a second look at the last four posts to see that the sales to list ratio is out of whack in the areas covered. I’m pretty certain similar outcomes will prevail across the board.

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