VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver-area home sales last month were sharply lower than a year earlier but much higher than the previous month. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says listings coupled with strong demand, specifically for condos and townhomes, continue to take a toll on the market.
The board finds residential property sales in the region totalled 3,579 last month, a drop of 30.8 per cent from the 5,173 sales recorded in record-breaking March of 2016, however, that’s an increase of 47.6 per cent compared to February 2017 when just 2,425 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were nearly eight per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month. “While demand in March was below the record high of last year, we saw demand increase month-to-month for condos and townhomes,” explains REBGV President Jill Oudil. “Sellers still seem reluctant to put their homes on the market, making for stiff competition among home buyers.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,762 last month. That is a decrease of 24.1 per cent compared to the 6,278 units listed in March 2016 and a 29.9 per cent increase compared to February 2017 when 3,666 properties were on the market. This is the lowest number of new listings in March since 2009.
“The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro Vancouver is 7,586, a 3.1 per cent increase compared to March 2016 (7,358) and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to February 2017 (7,594),” the board says in a statement.
The REBGV says, generally, analysts feel a downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when surpassing 20 per cent over several months. “Home prices will likely continue to increase until we see more housing supply coming on to the market,” says Oudil.
The benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is $919,300. That’s a drop of almost one per cent over the past six months and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to February 2017.
Sales of detached properties in March 2017 reached 1,150, a decrease of 46.1 per cent from the 2,135 detached sales recorded in March 2016. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,489,400 — a five per cent increase over February 2017.
While sales of apartments reached 1,841 in March 2017, a drop of 18.3 per cent compared to the 2,252 sales in March 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $537,400.