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Whats going on with Insurance and where have all the listings gone!

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Insurance and the Spring Market

Chris Spötzl

There really is no city quite like Vancouver anywhere in the world and that is what sets it apart...

There really is no city quite like Vancouver anywhere in the world and that is what sets it apart...

Feb 25 7 minutes read

Important Update: Strata Insurance

Briefly touched on in our previous blog via an interesting article, you may have heard by now that strata insurance (which covers the replacement or repair of a strata building including the unit you own), has faced challenges recently. There have been significant increases in the cost of policies for some buildings and their deductibles should a claim be brought forward by the strata. In some cases, these deductibles have gone from a normal range of $10,000 - $50,000 to an eyepopping $100,000 - $500,000, especially in the cases of water damage from a washing machine, dishwasher, sink, toilet, etc. If it was deemed to come from your unit, the strata corporation can bill you for the total damages or their deductible (in case the strata puts through a claim on their insurance and the repair costs exceed the deductible amount). This is not just for damage to your unit, but any others around you.

You should have a copy of your strata corporation’s insurance policy and beware of the deductible amounts. Forward or take a copy to your insurance provider to ensure that you have coverage for these deductibles. Also be aware of when your strata’s insurance policy expires as there may be increases in the next policy that could affect your monthly maintenance fee. Review your strata meeting minutes to see what discussions there are around this, if any, and attend the next Annual General Meeting of the strata to find out what is happening. The strata insurance policy is usually attached to a Notice of Annual General Meeting but, contact your strata manager if you cannot find it.

Attached are a couple of documents which help explain what is currently happening. And if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Strata insurance Media Release and a Closer Look at the Insurance Market.

How is the Spring Market Shaping up? 

Sales and listings stats are attached as of February 15, 2020. Where have all the listings gone? There have been 1,039 homes sold for the first half of February compared to 782 at the same time in February 2019 (up 33 per cent), and up from 583 sales (up 78 per cent) at the mid-point in January. There have been 1,935 new listings so far in February compared to 2,240 new listings up to February 15, 2019 (down 14 per cent) and on a similar pace as January. Active listings are at 9,511 which is down from 11,883 (down 20 percent) from this time last year – not enough! Multiple offers are common, months of supply continues to be in seller’s to balanced market conditions. Townhomes are the shortest in supply in most areas, ranging from 2 to 3 month’s supply. Simply put, there is a shortage of homes available to purchase in Greater Vancouver! Looking at the product types, there are 26 percent less detached homes available for sale compared to this time last year, 23 per cent less townhomes and 20 per cent less apartments. The sales to listings ratios are 47 per cent for detached homes, 61 per cent for townhomes and 54 per cent for apartments.

While sales activity so far in February is still below the average pace - tempered by lack of homes available, global health concerns (recent events in some areas have kept buyers and sellers at bay) and strata insurance challenges - buyer demand continues to get stronger and putting pressure on prices to rise. There’s been little so far to suggest an increase in sellers listing their homes for sale, but strong demand, almost entirely local, from buyers looking to take advantage of the low interest rates currently available. These conditions are turning the real estate market into more and more of a seller’s market as evidenced by the increasing number of properties recently selling in multiple offers. So, government policy to help affordability in the housing market has done what exactly?

Summary of the numbers:


 Greater Vancouver: 

1,039 Units Sold so far in February 2020 compared to 782 Units Sold so far at this time in February 2019 and 583 Units Sold at this point in January 2020. Total New Listings so far in February are 1,935 compared to 2,240 at this point in February 2019 and 1,924 at this point in January 2020. Total Active Listings are at 9,511 compared to 11,910 at this time last year. Sales To Listings Ratio is at 54% compared to 35% in February 2019.

Vancouver Westside Residential: 

167 Units Sold so far in February 2020 compared to 131 Units Sold so far at this time in February 2019 and 89 Units Sold at this point in January 2020. Total New Listings so far in February are 330 compared to 514 at this point in February 2019 and 178 at this point in January 2020. Total Active Listings are at 1,737 compared to 2,240 at this time last year. Sales To Listings Ratio is at 51% compared to 25% in February 2019.

Vancouver East Side Residential: 

111 Units Sold so far in February 2020 compared to 87 Units Sold so far at this time in February 2019 and 48 Units Sold at this point in January 2020. Total New Listings so far in February are 185 compared to 216 at this point in February 2019 and 178 at this point in January 2020. Total Active Listings are at 767 compared to 1,099 at this time last year. Sales To Listings Ratio is at 60% compared to 40% in February 2019.

North Vancouver Residential: 

92 Units Sold so far in February 2020 compared to 63 Units Sold so far at this time in February 2019 and 30 Units Sold at this point in January 2020. Total New Listings so far in February are 183 compared to 194 at this point in February 2019 and 163 at this point in January 2020. Total Active Listings are at 594 compared to 782 at this time last year. Sales To Listings Ratio is at 50% compared to 32% in February 2019.

West Vancouver Residential: 

25 Units Sold so far in February 2020 compared to 17 Units Sold so far at this time in February 2019 and 10 Units Sold at this point in January 2020. Total New Listings so far in February are 77 compared to 107 at this point in February 2019 and 91 at this point in January 2020. Total Active Listings are at 537 compared to 476 at this time last year. Sales To Listings Ratio is at 32% compared to 11% in February 2019.

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