Left Hanging

Three Times Lucky

It’s an old phrase.

According to Phrase Finder it implies “that the third time something is attempted it is more likely to succeed than the previous two attempts.” Alternatively, it might also have something to do with old English Law that says “anyone who survived three attempts at hanging would be set free.”

In March and April of 2010 the Vancouver Real Estate Market saw homes hanging above the average price of one million dollars. In September of 2010, Vancouver homes stretched the average price rope to new lengths. For the third time this year, homes on average, have sold above $1,000,000.

Three times lucky, we must, as guided by English Law, accept that even when sales are down 39% YOY, Vancouver home prices have been set free?

Average Price 1977 – 2010


The Vancouver market has once again shown us that it is an ‘all bets are off’ kind of town that potentially may leave many buyers hanging. After all, what could possibly survive three turns at the gallows?

Yet, just when it was thought you could slip through the noose with a bet on a sure thing, Vancouver home prices have once again shown us just how resilient they can be.

The average price of a detached home in Vancouver again surpassed the $1,000,000 mark. In another catch-your-breath moment the average home price set a new record at $1,016,324 – higher than March’s $1,002,020 and April’s $1,003,884.


The Attached average price waffled from last month’s $551,035 down to $534,085.


Apartment average prices continue to fluctuate in the $430,000 range. From July’s $443,100 apartment prices dipped to August’s $430,598 bouncing just a little as September recorded $430,712.

Vancouver Real Estate Average Price Numbers:

Detached Attached Apartment
September 10 – $1,016,324 September 10 – $534,085 September 10 – $430,712
September 09 – $872,115 September 09 – $509,601 September 09 – $409,068
September 08 – $790,036 September 08 – $499,975 September 08 – $369,654

Vancouver Real Estate Inventory – Active Listings

Detached Attached Apartment
September 10 – 6,489
+ 15%
September 10 – 2,381
+ 22%
September 10 – 6,493
+ 30%
September 09 – 5,625 September 09 – 1,948 September 09 – 5,023

Vancouver Real Estate – Units Sold

Detached Attached Apartment
September 10 – 870
– 39%
September 10 – 384
– 40%
September 10 – 972
– 34%
September 09 – 1,432 September 09 – 647 September 09 – 1,490

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:

October 1st, 2010 at 2:17 am

AVERAGE price $1 million? Did I read that right? Gee, it would pay me to pick up my house and drop it in Vancouver, BC…

October 1st, 2010 at 8:56 am

@colonel Panic
yes and most of the readers here can even spell it using lower case letters however, you must take a moment to explain how removing first time buyers from a market increases a sale price.

October 1st, 2010 at 9:05 am

I am but a humble peddler of homes but even this event has left me hanging as I search for a second cup of coffee. My understanding is pretty basic. There are in this city a number of people who earn great amounts of money. Some of them have purchased high priced homes ( see West Van Community Series as an example) and it is those numbers which serve to push the average to this level. A more realistic picture will evolve when the HPI numbers become available from the board in the next few days.

Van Housing Bull Says:
October 1st, 2010 at 9:48 am


I’ve been following your blog for awhile. I think you make an important point: another way of saying there are a lot of people making a lot of money is that we are seeing also a huge rise in income inequality. This also mirrors the income gap trends of the U.S.

See: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/05/growing_income_.html

Overlay the demographics of education attainment over the areas that continue to see rises in prices and you can see the correlation (not causation mind you). At a minimum, food for thought.

Here’s a related rhetorical note:

Van Housing Bull Says:
October 1st, 2010 at 9:51 am
Colonel Panic Says:
October 1st, 2010 at 9:54 am

Fair enough Larry,

Take away the first time buyers, and it’s going to skew the sale price averages higher. The way I see it, the only players now, are the rich foreigners, ( even you have said before, are only interested in the high end stuff) out of towners, move up buyers and possibly people who would have bought new and are considering resale properties because of the HST ( new unit sales have really gone into the toilet). That’s just my theory, I feel the market may be at an inflection point right now.

October 1st, 2010 at 10:02 am

@van housing
addition to your thoughts see this from the Tyee
note what is considered the livable wage.
Even at those hourly rates I don’t think you can afford the rent in the Millenium. 🙂

October 1st, 2010 at 10:41 am

@colonel panic
“rich foreigners” – wealth as I think we understand it is relative. This is not intended to be derogatory but by almost any global measure one might consider Vancouverites to be financial peasants. What we are rich in is environmental lifestyle.
Not to appear overtly ‘green’ but I submit that it only takes a visit to a few countries to see the environmental trade offs made in exchange for their financial wealth.

Best place on meth Says:
October 1st, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Oh, goodee!

People in Vancouver are willing to put even MORE than 74% of their income towards housing costs in the future.

I’m sure this will end well.

October 1st, 2010 at 4:02 pm

“Oh, goodee!”

with tongue in cheek – never seen you so happy 🙂

Roland Leung Says:
October 1st, 2010 at 11:53 pm

This house http://www.andrewcarros.com/Properties.php/Details/67 was listed at 1.69M in 2008 Sept and was eventually sold at 1.49M in 2009 Apr. Guess what. It was out listed at 1.998M again several months ago and was eventually sold at 1.85M several days ago.

Not bad at all for the seller to have pocketed 350k before transaction cost in a matter of 16 months.

Roland Leung Says:
October 2nd, 2010 at 12:14 am

Frankly speaking, the only SFHs that makes sense buying now are those with these characteristics.

1. With view and on quiet street
– characteristics that will outpace competitors even in buyer’s market
2. Houses older than 30 years
– House with almost 0 salvage value so government can suck a proportionally fewer amount of property tax out of it.

Looking at MLS now, there are so many houses for sale with intention of being rebuilt or houses for sale that has just been rebuilt, what I don’t understand is why buyers would want to buy those houses.

1. The land value needs to appreciate more than the depreciation of the new building to produce a net positive increase going forward. Unlike previous boom cycle, Canadians have pretty much exhausted their debt-carrying power this time. I just don’t have any clue what the next stimulus will be with the CMHC, Mortgage backed securities guaranteed by the government already exhausted. That’s one big bullet being used and I can’t think of anything left.

2. You can guarantee a big portion of the future increase in property tax will come from these new SFHs. Where do you think the money will come from with this Olympic village timebomb?

The only thing that I can think of is for the current buyer (which are mostly foreigners) of these new SFH to sell to bigger fool from foreign countries again.

October 2nd, 2010 at 12:53 am

“what I don’t understand is why buyers would want to buy those houses”

Quoting from the Financial Post via Bloomberg News it is perhaps Mike Sodden CEO of the Bank of Ireland who says it best – “the entitlement mindset pervades our society.”

L8erdude Says:
October 2nd, 2010 at 8:55 am

“Roland Leung Says:
October 2nd, 2010 at 12:14 am

Frankly speaking, the only SFHs that makes sense buying now are those with these characteristics.

1. With view and on quiet street
– characteristics that will outpace competitors even in buyer’s market
2. Houses older than 30 years
– House with almost 0 salvage value so government can suck a proportionally fewer amount of property tax out of it.”

don’t forget Roland – foreign buyers are also looking for large size lots in which to tear down that 0 salvage value home. I think the plan is to move etended family members together – so more space makes sense

October 3rd, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Great stats! I think we are going to see a decline in home prices as developers are not yet done adding more residential skyscrapers to our Vancouver skyline. Demand for new construction has plummeted recently as many buyers don’t want to pay HST on top of the prices. Sales volume is definitely down but the prices have not yet decreased drastically. Rental rates are also likely to come down a little as investors who bought pre sale condos in the last couple years will not be able to flip them for a profit so they will be added to the rental pool. As supply increases and demand stays the same prices will fall and the invisible hand will guide the economy.

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