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Photo: Carolyn Coles/Flickr 

There haven’t been this few new Metro Vancouver home listings in February since 2003, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Last month, the area saw a total of 3,666 new listings for detached, attached and apartment units, which is a 36.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,812 units listed in February 2016, says the board’s most recent statistical report.

This continues the trend of inadequate home supply to meet demand, the board suggests.

There were 11.4 per cent fewer new homes listed in February than in the previous month, which saw 4,140 listings appear.

Metro Vancouver home sales in February fell 7.7 per cent below the 10-year average for the month.

“February home sales were well below the record-breaking activity from one year ago and in line with our long-term historical average for the month,” says REBGV President Dan Morrison, in a statement.

“Limited supply and snowy weather were two factors hampering this activity,” he adds.

Home sales in the region declined 41.9 per cent last month compared to the same time last year. A total of 2,425 dwellings changed hands.

While transactions were down on a year-over-year basis, February was a busier month for home sales than January. February home sales soared 59.2 per cent over activity recorded the previous month, when 1,523 homes sold.

With high demand for housing in the region, REBGV’s Morrison says the limited housing supply is affecting pricing in the market.

“While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand,” says Morrison.

“This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets,” he adds.

Metro Vancouver did see an uptick in the total number of residential properties listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) last month, with 7,594 homes listed, up 4 per cent from a year ago and 4.9 per cent over January.

Last month, the region’s sales-to-active listings ratio, calculated by dividing sales by February’s active listings and expressed as a percentage, saw a 10-point increase from January 2017, at 31.9 per cent.

Generally, if a ratio falls below the 12 per cent mark for an extended time, there will generally be downward pressure on home prices. Upward pressure typically occurs when the ratio stays above 20 per cent over a prolonged period.

Over the past six months, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all Metro Vancouver residences fell 2.8 per cent, sitting at $906,700, but saw a 1.2 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

In all, 745 detached homes sold in Metro Vancouver last month, a massive 58.1 per cent drop from February 2016.

The benchmark price for detached homes was $1,474,200, unchanged from the previous month but down 6.5 per cent from the past six months.

In February 2017, the region’s condo apartment sales saw a 28.8 per cent decline with 1,275 units sold, compared to the 1,790 sales in February 2016.

The benchmark price of condo apartments was $526,300, a 2.3 per cent increase over the past six months and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to January.

Metro Vancouver attached home sales plummeted 33.1 per cent in February from the heights reached in activity a year earlier. Just 404 of these homes sold last month.

Currently, the benchmark price of an attached home is $675, 500, which is a 0.3 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.3 per cent increase since January 2017.

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