Sunday, June 16, 2013

An update on the real estate outlook in Richmond

Richmond realtor James Wong is out with his June Report and at first blush it appears market conditions have improved a bit:
Total home sales in Richmond for May 2013 totaled 375 units were 7% higher than the 350 sales recorded a month ago. Higher home sales the past 2 months helped to improve the housing market in Richmond slightly. The slow down in new listings, and improved sales helped to improve the market outlook for townhomes and condos. The slow down in the supply of new listings the past 3 months helped to improve the housing market in Richmond significantly.

Total active listings in May at 2,230 units was at around the same level compared to the previous month’s total listings of of 2,225 homes. With an average past 3 months home sales of 335 units, the MOI for homes in Richmond at 6.66 months for May is a vast improvement compared to the previous 2 months.
Sounds promising.  But that's for the market in total.  What's happening with detached homes, presumably one of the big draws about moving to one of Vancouver's suburb communities:
The situation for detached homes in Richmond did not improve much. The MOI for Richmond detached homes for May at 9.35 months will continue to exert pressure on home sellers. The only way out for home sellers who must sell is to reduce their prices significantly.

Wong continues:
Richmond detached home prices are under pressure to decline further due to the high supply of homes and lower than expected demand from home buyers.

Currently, there are 642 detached homes over $1,000,000 for sale in Richmond. The average monthly sales the past 3 months for homes over $1.0 million was 49 homes. With 13 months of supply, detached home sellers are not seeing much demand for their homes. 
The situation for detached homes over $1.5 million is far worst. With 357 homes listed for sale and average monthly sales of 17 homes, these home sellers are confronted with 17 months of supply, with little hope of finding buyers. The demand for detached homes over $1.5 million is not expected to improve much. 
There are not signs of the market changing for the better for million dollar homes in Richmond.
Hmmm. What about townhouses?
The market for townhouses in Richmond appeared to have stabilized and home prices are holding at current level.
On the face of it, decent news.

How about condo owners?
On the other hand, resale condo sellers in Richmond are in a dire situation trying to sell their condos. The Richmond condo MOI for May at 6.6 months is not a true reflection of the market situation for condos in Richmond. When the unlisted inventories of new condos are added to the pool of resale condos for sale on the MLS® system, there are far more condos for sale than buyers. The competition for buyers by resale condo sellers and new condo developers will inevitably result in lower condo prices in the coming months.
James Wong, telling it like it is.


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  1. Although James Wong has always been the biggest doomer there ever was, eventually the market does cycle and he will one day be correct. Richmond is the epicenter of HAM central. Always will be a demand for a little piece of real estate so prices may flatten, but never will crash.

    1. Prices will "never crash"? And let me guess, your grandfather coined the phrase "the Titanic is unsinkable"?

    2. Nothing would please me more than to see Richmond crash and burn, but to compare it to the Titanic? That's going....shall I say "overboard?"

  2. Seems to me that Wong has been coming out and saying inventory is high and sales suck each month for quite a while now because every month the data shows that in Richmond sales suck and inventory is high.

    People call Wong a doomed. He's nothing of the kind. He's just being realistic. He's absolutely rit when he says "if you need to sell your house in a hurry, you will have to cut your asking price drastically"

    The man is being honey. We need more people in this industry like Mr. Wong.

  3. It's easy to create the perception of a turnaround at the height of a spring market- which is exactly what Muir tried to do. The problem is, usually by the end of summer sales drop off considerably. Basically this is about as good as it gets. This is the best Richmond mug shot that could be taken. Barring better downside pricing, in two months these MOI numbers will probably all be back close to double digits.

    Actually if you go by Bill Coughlin's REMAX site Richmond sales/listings ratio overall was only 9-10% in May 2013, which is pretty bad for this time of year. Their number was 8% in May 2012. Buyer's market is below 15%.

  4. They are just re-arranging the deck chairs in Richmond! The band is still playing and have been given orders to Continue to Play, no-matter what! Rats have been brought in to lead the way out for those at the deepest levels! Costa Concordia had amazing technology, but she still hit the rocks and keeled over! Buck up, friends, there shall be no sinking feelings on this cruise!

  5. I was just told that Air China had reduced their flight frequency to YVR this past winter. See, no HaM no support. And most really believe its a local driven market..

    1. Wow, that really says something...when they cut flights.

  6. I personally sold my Richmond condo just in the nick of time in last October. The problem is new development prices are dropping in tune with the demand, but condo owners are failing to play along. Why buy a used condo when a new condo is better priced?

    And it's only going to get worse for condo owners because Richmond is rezoning tons of areas for new high rises.