Photo: James Bombales

In 2017, Metro Vancouver’s housing market was a story of steady sales and reduced listings but will the same narrative stick in 2018?

Last year, the region’s sales total was 9.7 per cent above the 10-year sales average, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) latest data, published this month.

However, as demand soared last year, home listings shrunk significantly.

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“Metro Vancouver home sales were the third highest we’ve seen in the past ten years while the home listings total was the second lowest on record for the same period,” says Jill Oudil, REBGV president, in a statement.

In 2017, there were a total of 54,655 home listings in the region, a 5 per cent decrease compared to 2016 and a 4.5 per cent drop from 2015.

Last year’s total was also 4.4 per cent below the 10-year listings average.

With new mortgage rules now in effect, Oudil says only time will tell what impact they will have on the market.

Here are 10 more highlights from 2017 that illustrate where the market stands as we begin a new year.

1. A total of 35,993 detached, attached and apartment properties changed hands in 2017, down roughly 10 per cent from the 39,943 sales seen in 2016.

2. Last year’s sales saw a 15 per cent decline from the 42,326 sales in 2015.

3. According to Oudil, a variety of factors helped drive sales in the region in 2017, such as strong economic growth, low interest rates, declining unemployment, increasing wages and a growing population.

4. She adds that market activity in the region differed based on property type. In the condo and townhome markets, competition was strong and multiple offer situations were common. Conversely, the detached home market operated in a more balanced state, says Oudil.

5. In December 2017, there were a total of 6,958 homes listed for sale in the region, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to a year ago.

6. There were a total of 1,891 properties newly listed for sale in December 2017, up 44 per cent compared to a year ago.

7. Metro Vancouver ended off 2017 as a sellers’ market with a sales-to-active listings ratio of 29 per cent in December. According to REBGV, downward pressure occurs on home prices when the ratio falls below the 12 per cent mark for a prolonged period of time. Conversely, home prices often experience upward pressure when the ratio surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

8. At the end of 2017, the benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,050,300. This represents a roughly 16 per cent increase compared to a year ago.

9. Out of all property types, condos saw the highest annual price growth in 2017 with a year-over-year increase of 26 per cent.

10. Last year, the price of a townhome increased 18.5 per cent year-over-year and detached homes rose 8 per cent from a year ago.

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