Photo: Kenny Louie/Flickr
Even though home sales in Metro Vancouver have dropped from red-hot levels seen last year, home prices continued to soar in April with fierce demand for condos and townhomes in the region.
According to the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), from January to April 2017 condo and townhome sales in the region accounted for the largest percentage of all residential transactions on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), at an average of 68.5 per cent.
This is up 10 per cent compared to the 58.2 per cent average seen during the same period last year.
“Our overall market is operating below the record-setting pace from a year ago and is in line with historical spring levels,” says REBGV president Jill Oudil, in a press release.
“It’s a different story in our condominium and townhome markets. Demand has been increasing for months and supply is not keeping pace. This dynamic is causing prices to increase and making multiple offer scenarios the norm,” she adds.
Last month, there were 1,722 condo sales in the region, down 18.3 per cent from the 2,107 sales in April 2016. Attached home sales totalled 620 in April 2017, a decrease of 10.8 per cent from the 695 sales seen during the same period last year.
The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price of a condo in April was $554,100, a 16.6 per cent increase compared to April 2016 and up 3.1 per cent from the month before. The price of an attached home last month was $701,800, a 15.3 per cent increase over April 2016 and a 2.4 per cent uptick from March 2017.
Last month detached property sales in Metro Vancouver fell a steep 38.8 per cent to a total of 1,211 compared to the 1,979 transactions seen in April 2016. Meanwhile, the benchmark price of a detached home was $1,516,500, an 8.1 per cent increase over April last year and a nearly 2 per cent increase from March 2017.
Out of all property types in the region, condos saw the largest benchmark price increase over the past three months, with 8.2 per cent. Townhomes followed with a 5.3 per cent increase while detached homes saw a 2.8 per cent increase.
In April, there were a total of 3,553 residential property sales in the region, a 25.7 per cent drop compared to the 4,781 homes sold in April 2016 and a 0.7 per cent decrease from the 3,579 sales seen in March 2017. The total transactions in April were 4.8 per cent above the month’s 10-year average.
For all residential properties in the region, the benchmark price went up 11.4 per cent since April 2016, to $941,100. This average home price also represents a five per cent increase over the past three months.
Metro Vancouver’s housing market continues to favour sellers, as April’s sales-to-active listings ratio for all property types was 45.5 per cent, down two per cent from the previous month.
When the ratio falls below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period of time, REBGV says downward pressure generally occurs on home prices. Conversely, upward pressure on prices usually happens when the ratio surpasses 20 per cent over a prolonged period of time.
In April, the sales-to-listings ratio for both the region’s townhome and condominium markets significantly exceed the 26 per cent ratio for detached homes, at 58.2 and 82.2 per cent, respectively.
“Until more entry level or ‘missing middle’ homes are available for sale in our market, we’ll likely continue to see prices increase,” says Oudil. “There’s been record building this past year, but much of that inventory isn’t ready to hit the market,” she continues.
Metro Vancouver had a total of 4,907 new listings for sale last month, including detached, attached and apartment properties. This is a nearly 20 per cent decline compared to the 6,127 new listings in April last year, but a three per cent uptick compared to the 4,762 properties listed in March 2017.
On Metro Vancouver’s MLS, the total number of residential properties currently for sale is 7,813, up 3.5 per cent compared to April 2016 and a 3 per cent increase from March 2017.