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Home buyers and sellers adjust their activities in March amid challenging circumstances


Metro Vancouver’s* housing market saw steady home buyer demand to begin March and a levelling off of activity as the month went on and concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak intensified. 


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,524 in March 2020, a 46.1 per cent increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in March 2019, and a 17.4 per cent increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020. 


Last month’s sales were 19.9 per cent below the 10-year March sales average. 


“The first two weeks of the month were the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said, “Like other aspects of our lives, this changed as concerns over the COVID-19 situation in our province grew.” 


Daily residential sales on the region’s MLS® were 138 on average in the first ten business days of the month. In the final ten business days of the month, the daily average declined to 93 sales. 


“Many of the sales recorded in March were in process before the provincial government declared a state of emergency. We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market,” Smith said. 


“In recent weeks, REALTORS® have been working to help and guide their clients through this uncertain period. Many people have understandably chosen to put their home buying or selling plans on hold for now. Other people have more urgent housing needs and we’re trying to work with them to address these needs in the safest and most responsible way possible.” 


There were 4,436 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2020. This represents a 10.4 per cent decrease compared to the 4,949 homes listed in March 2019 and a 10.8 per cent increase compared to February 2020 when 4,002 homes were listed. 


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,606, a 24.8 per cent decrease compared to March 2019 (12,774) and a 4.5 per cent increase compared to February 2020 (9,195).


“Realtors were named among the province’s list of essential services last week,” Smith said. “This means that we have a responsibility to do what we can to help residents meet their housing and shelter needs while strictly following the most up-to-date public health orders and physical distancing requirements from our health officials and government agencies.” 


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2020 is 26.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 21.1 per cent for detached homes, 33 per cent for townhomes, and 28.9 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. 


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,033,700. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase over March 2019, and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to February 2020. 


Sales of detached homes in March 2020 reached 852, a 61.1 per cent increase from the 529 detached sales recorded in March 2019. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,450,700. This represents a 0.7 per cent increase from March 2019, and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to February 2020. 


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,179 in March 2020, a 35.1 per cent increase compared to the 873 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $687,000. This represents a 2.9 per cent increase from March 2019, and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to February 2020.


Attached home sales in March 2020 totalled 493, a 51.7 per cent increase compared to the 325 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $791,800. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase from March 2019, and a 0.9 per cent increase compared to February 2020.

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Home sale activity up, supply down to start 2020 VANCOUVER, BC – February 4, 2020 – Home sale and price activity remained steady in Metro Vancouver* to start 2020 while home listing activity declined in January. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,571 in January 2020, a 42.4 per cent increase from the 1,103 sales recorded in January 2019, and a 22.1 per cent decrease from the 2,016 homes sold in December 2019. Last month’s sales were 7.3 per cent below the 10-year January sales average. “We've begun 2020 with steady home buyer demand that tracks close to the region's long-term average,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Looking at supply, we’re seeing fewer homes listed for sale than is typical for this time of year. As we approach the traditionally more active spring market, we’ll keep a close eye on supply to see if the number of homes being listed is keeping pace with demand.” There were 3,872 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2020. This represents a 20.1 per cent decrease compared to the 4,848 homes listed in January 2019 and a 143.8 per cent increase compared to December 2019 when 1,588 homes were listed. Last month’s new listings were 17.4 per cent below January’s 10-year average. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,617, a 20.3 per cent decrease compared to January 2019 (10,808) and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to December 2019 (8,603), and is 13.7 per cent below the 10-year January average. For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2020 is 18.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 11.6 per cent for detached homes, 22.6 per cent for townhomes, and 23.9 per cent for apartments. Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,008,700. This represents a 1.2 per cent decrease over January 2019, a 1.4 per cent increase over the past six months, and a 0.8 per cent increase compared to December 2019. Sales of detached homes in January 2020 reached 439, a 29.5 per cent increase from the 339 detached sales recorded in January 2019. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,431,200. This represents a 1.7 per cent decrease from January 2019, a one per cent increase over the past six months, and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to December 2019. Sales of apartment homes reached 814 in January 2020, a 45.6 per cent increase compared to the 559 sales in January 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $663,200. This represents a one per cent decrease from January 2019, a 1.5 per cent increase over the past six months, and a one per cent increase compared to December 2019. Attached home sales in January 2020 totalled 318, a 55.1 per cent increase compared to the 205 sales in January 2019. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $782,500. This represents a 0.7 per cent decrease from January 2019, a 1.6 per cent increase over the past six months, and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to December 2019. -30- *Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler. The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2019, 25,351 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.8 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 12,910 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $25.3 billion in 2019
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Home sales decline below long-term averages in 2019 despite increased demand to end the year VANCOUVER, BC – January 3, 2020 – The Metro Vancouver* housing market experienced below average sales activity and moderate price declines in 2019. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment homes reached 25,351 in 2019, a three per cent increase from the 24,619 sales recorded in 2018, and a 29.6 per cent decrease over the 35,993 residential sales in 2017. Last year’s sales total was 20.3 per cent below the region’s 10-year sales average. “We didn’t see typical seasonal patterns in 2019. Home buyer demand was quieter in the normally busy spring season and it picked up in the second half of the year,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “In terms of home values, prices dipped between two and four per cent across the region last year depending on property type.” Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver reached 51,918 in 2019. This is a 3.2 per cent decrease compared to the 53,614 homes listed in 2018 and a five per cent decrease compared to the 54,655 homes listed in 2017. Last year’s listings total was 7.6 per cent below the 10-year average. “Home buyer confidence was a factor throughout the year. In the first quarter, many prospective buyers were in a holding pattern, waiting to see how prices would react to the mortgage stress test, new taxes, and other policy changes,” Smith said. “Confidence started to return in the summer, and we saw above average sales in the final quarter of 2019.” The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $1,001,000. This is a 3.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2018. The benchmark price of apartments decreased 2.7 per cent in the region last year. Townhomes decreased 2.4 per cent and detached homes decreased four per cent. December summary REBGV reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,016 in December 2019, an 88.1 per cent increase from the 1,072 sales recorded in December 2018, and a 19.3 per cent decrease from the 2,498 homes sold in November 2019. Last month’s sales were 9.5 per cent above the 10-year December sales average. There were 1,588 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver in December 2019. This represents a 12.9 per cent increase compared to the 1,407 homes listed in December 2018 and a 46.8 per cent decrease compared to November 2019 when 2,987 homes were listed. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,603, a 16.3 per cent decrease compared to December 2018 (10,275) and a 20.1 per cent decrease compared to November 2019 (10,770). For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2019 is 23.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 15.2 per cent for detached homes, 25.7 per cent for townhomes, and 32.5 per cent for apartments. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. Sales of detached homes in December 2019 reached 599, a 72.1 per cent increase from the 348 detached sales recorded in December 2018. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,423,500. This represents a four per cent decrease from December 2018, and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to November 2019. Sales of apartment homes reached 1,053 in December 2019, a 96.8 per cent increase compared to the 535 sales in December 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $656,700. This represents a 2.7 per cent decrease from December 2018, and a 0.8 per cent increase compared to November 2019. Attached home sales in December 2019 totalled 364, a 92.6 per cent increase compared to the 189 sales in December 2018. The benchmark price of an attached home is $778,400. This represents a 2.4 per cent decrease from December 2018, and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to November 2019.
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Home buyer activity increases in October

The Metro Vancouver housing market is experiencing a fall pickup in home sale activity.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,858 in October 2019, a 45.4 per cent increase from the 1,966 sales recorded in October 2018, and a 22.5 per cent increase from the 2,333 homes sold in September 2019.


Last month’s sales were 9.8 per cent above the 10-year October sales average.


“Home buyers have more confidence today than we saw in the first half of the year,” says Ashley Smith, REBGV president. “With prices edging down over the last year and interest rates remaining low, hopeful home buyers are becoming more active this fall.”


There were 4,074 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in October 2019. This represents a 16.4 per cent decrease compared to the 4,873 homes listed in October 2018 and a 16.3 per cent decrease compared to September 2019 when 4,866 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,236, a 5.8 per cent decrease compared to October 2018 (12,984) and a nine per cent decrease compared to September 2019 (13,439).


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for October 2019 is 23.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 17.3 per cent for detached homes, 26.2 per cent for townhomes, and 29 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“The recent uptick in home sales is moving us into a more historically typical market,” Smith said. “Both sale and listing activity is trending around our long-term averages in recent months.”


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $992,900. This represents a 6.4 per cent decrease from October 2018, a 1.7 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to September 2019.


Sales of detached homes in October 2019 reached 938, a 47.3 per cent increase from the 637 detached sales recorded in October 2018. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,410,500. This represents a 7.5 per cent decrease from October 2018, a 1.3 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to September 2019.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,384 in October 2019, a 40.5 per cent increase compared to the 985 sales in October 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $652,500. This represents a 5.9 per cent decrease from October 2018, a 2.2 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to September 2019.


Attached home sales in October 2019 totalled 536, a 55.8 per cent increase compared to the 344 sales in October 2018. The benchmark price of an attached home is $771,600. This represents a 5.8 per cent decrease from October 2018, a 0.4 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to September 2019.

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Increased demand helps housing market reach balanced territory

Home buyer demand has returned to more historically typical levels in Metro Vancouver over the last three months.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,333 in September 2019, a 46.3 per cent increase from the 1,595 sales recorded in September 2018, and a 4.6 per cent increase from the 2,231 homes sold in August 2019.


Last month’s sales were 1.7 per cent below the 10-year September sales average.


“We’re seeing more balanced housing market conditions over the last three months compared to what we saw at this time last year,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Home buyers are more willing to make offers today, particularly in the townhome and apartment markets.”


There were 4,866 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2019. This represents a 7.8 per cent decrease compared to the 5,279 homes listed in September 2018 and a 29.9 per cent increase compared to August 2019 when 3,747 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,439, a 2.7 per cent increase compared to September 2018 (13,084) and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to August 2019 (13,396).


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2019 is 17.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 12.7 per cent for detached homes, 18.9 per cent for townhomes, and 21.9 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“This is a more comfortable market for people on both sides of a real estate transaction,” said Smith. “Home sale and listing activity were both at typical levels for our region in September.”


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $990,600. This represents a 7.3 per cent decrease over September 2018 and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2019.


Sales of detached homes in September 2019 reached 745, a 46.7 per cent increase from the 508 detached sales recorded in September 2018. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,406,200. This represents an 8.6 per cent decrease from September 2018 and is virtually unchanged compared to August 2019.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,166 in September 2019, a 43.6 per cent increase compared to the 812 sales in September 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $651,500. This represents a 6.5 per cent decrease from September 2018 and a 0.4 per cent decrease compared to August 2019.


Attached home sales in September 2019 totalled 422, a 53.5 per cent increase compared to the 275 sales in September 2018. The benchmark price of an attached home is $767,500. This represents a 7.2 per cent decrease from September 2018 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to August 2019.

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