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Metro Vancouver home sales surpass 4,000 for third consecutive month


 

It continues to be a competitive spring market for Metro Vancouver* home buyers. This competition continues to put upward pressure on home prices, particularly in the detached home market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 4,056 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2015. This represents a 23.4 per cent increase compared to the 3,286 sales recorded in May 2014, and a decrease of 2.9 per cent compared to the 4,179 sales in April 2015.

Last month’s sales were 16.7 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“We continue to see strong competition for homes that are priced right for today’s market,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “It’s important to remember that real estate is hyper local, particularly in a seller’s market. This means that conditions and prices vary depending on property type, neighbourhood, and other factors."

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,641 in May. This represents a 5 per cent decrease compared to the 5,936 new listings reported in May 2014.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS® is 12,336, a 23.2 per cent decline compared to May 2014 and a 0.8 per cent decline compared to April 2015.

“While the supply of homes for sale remains below what’s typical for this time of year, our region continues to offer a diverse selection of housing options at different price points,” McLeod said. “This diversity within the housing stock is part of what’s driving today’s home sale activity.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $684,400. This represents a 9.4 per cent increase compared to May 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in May was 32.9 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since June 2007.

Sales of detached properties in May 2015 reached 1,723, an increase of 18.6 per cent from the 1,453 detached sales recorded in May 2014, and a 42.2 per cent increase from the 1,212 units sold in May 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 14.1 per cent from May 2014 to $1,104,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,600 in May 2015, an increase of 24.4 per cent compared to the 1,286 sales in May 2014, and an increase of 40.8 per cent compared to the 1,136 sales in May 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.6 per cent from May 2014 to $396,900.

Attached property sales in May 2015 totalled 733, an increase of 34 per cent compared to the 547 sales in May 2014, and a 37.3 per cent increase from the 534 attached properties sold in May 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.4 per cent between May 2014 and 2015 to $501,000.

*Note:  Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.



CREA numbers reveal April surprise


Sales activity continues to defy expectations, with Canadians taking advantage of warm weather and low rates in April for a 10 per cent spike in sales volume.

The number of transactions last month came in at 52,541 deals, up 10 per cent compared to the year-ago period, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Most provinces also experienced large hikes in sales, most notably a 28.7 per cent year-over-year increase in British Columbia and a 17.4 per cent year-over-year rise in Ontario. Those impressive climbs offset declines of 23 per cent and 14.8 per cent in Alberta and Saskatchewan, respectively, compared to their April 2014 performance.

“As expected, low mortgage interest rates and the onset of spring ushered many homebuyers off the sidelines, particularly in regions where winter was long and bitter,” said CREA president Pauline Aunger.

She and others are referencing a surprising increase in sales for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador – up 7.8 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively. Indeed, those provinces are certainly benefitting from milder weather following a particularly brutal and especially long winter that certainly stifled the market.

 Many of those entering the market are doing so for the first time, choosing condos over detached properties, which are more and more out of reach for buyers on all rungs of the property ladder.

In Toronto and Vancouver, condo sales were up 16.1 per cent and 34.4 per cent, respectively.

Calgary, however, is still feeling the impact of the oil shock: condo sales were off 28.5 per cent from the year-ago period. Prices in Calgary, however, remained relatively stable, dropping a modest 4.6 per cent from the year-ago period to $296,612.

Across the country and across all property types, sales price was up 9.5 per cent to an average of $448,862.

Prices in Toronto’s condo market were up 5.8 per cent to $380,517, while Vancouver’s condo prices slipped 0.3 per cent to $457,914.

“In recent years, the seasonal pattern for home sales and listings has become amplified in places where listings are in short supply relative to demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “This particularly stands out in and around Toronto.”



Hottest April for Home Sales in a Decade


Vancouver, BC – May 14, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,952 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 28.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.3 billion, a 45.5 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $634,744, a 13 per cent increase since last May.

“Last month was the strongest April for home sales in a decade,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The elevated level of buying activity this spring is now expected to push 2015 home sales to their highest level since 2007.”

“Consumers are taking full advantage of rock bottom interest rates and are demonstrating significant confidence in the housing market,” added Muir. “However, dwindling inventories combined with competition for detached homes in the province`s large urban markets is pushing home prices higher.”

During the first four months of 2015, BC residential sales dollar volume rose 37.1 per cent to $19 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales increased by 24.5 per cent to 30,091 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 10.1 per cent to $631,860.