Most new condos sold before completed

Saturday, August 27th, 2011


LUXURY SALES RISE: Realtors are seeing an increase in demand for luxury homes, with a record 792 homes projected to sell for more than $3million this year, according to a MacDonald Realty survey. There have also been 66 homes over $5 million sold so far. A total of 40 condos worth more than $3 million have been sold, including seven over $5 million. Shown is a luxury house at Highpoint, an equestrian-focused community in Langley. Photo: Highpoint

Nearly 60 per cent of new condominiums being built in the Lower Mainland are sold before they are complete, according to a survey by market research firm MPC Intelligence Inc. The Lower Mainland survey showed that during the first half of 2011, a total of 87 multi-family projects or project phases started marketing in Metro Vancouver. These projects added a total of 6,410 units to the market. By the end of June, 57 per cent of these units were reported sold. “Vancouver developers are sensing that the market is on the upswing. Total marketing starts are up by about 18 per cent from the second half of 2010,” MPC reports. Total apartment and townhome condo sales in new projects in 2011 are expected to be up by about 10 per cent from 2010 and a whopping 73 per cent higher than in 2009, MPC forecasts. “We believe that the gains made over the past 12 to 18 months will be temporary. Recent improvement in new condo sales have benefitted from the release of pent-up demand from the 2008 – 2009 period. Further gains in sales will depend on household growth in Metro Vancouver, and the latest net migration figures show growth is slowing,” cautions MPC. According to MPC, the real threat to a sustained recovery of the new condo market will be an oversupply of new product, especially in areas of the Fraser Valley. “We expect a “push” of new product in the fall of 2011 as developers look to capitalize on current market conditions,” MPC states. Among the challenging markets for condo developers are North Surrey, South Surrey and Langley, all of which are facing a possible oversupply of new condos, MPC says. Condos, townhomes lead construction curve A rise in multi-family construction – primarily condominiums – pushed housing starts in B.C. higher in July, reports the BC Central One Credit Union. Total housing starts in the province rose to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 30,000 units, up 29 per cent from June and 33 per cent above July 2010. Despite the large month-to-month gain, new home activity has been highly volatile since early 2010, fluctuating around an average of 26,400 units. Housing starts in Metro Vancouver lagged the provincial performance in July, rising 16 per cent to an annualized rate of 18,200 units. In all B.C.’s urban areas, multi-family starts rose 48 per cent from June to reach an annualized rate of 20,800 units, while single-detached starts increased just 4 per cent to 7,400 units. Copyright Real Estate Weekly

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