November Defies Seasonal Cool-Off for Metro Vancouver Real Estate: REBGV

Home sales up a staggering 40 per cent year over year despite dearth of listings; prices up nearly 18 per cent, says real estate board

By
Joannah Connolly REW.ca
December 2, 2015






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Metro Vancouver real estate sales in November reached near-record levels for the month, defying the anticipated seasonal slowdown, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) figures released December 2.

Total home sales were up 40.1 per cent annually in November and overall benchmark prices 17.8 per cent compared with November 2014 – both these annual growth rates mimicking those seen in the scorching spring market earlier this year.

November also saw year-over-year condo price growth hit 14 per cent – a rate of growth previously seen only in detached homes.

The November sales figures were only slightly lower than fall market peak of the previous month, down 3.3 per cent on October 2015, demonstrating much less of a seasonal slowdown than usual.

November's home sales were the second-highest on record, second only to the 3,957 sales in November 1989. They were also 46.2 per cent above the 10-year average for the month, prompting the board’s president to comment on the unusually high activity.

“November is typically one of the quietest months of the year in our housing market, but not this year,” said Darcy McLeod, REBGV president.

 

Sales and Listings

Greater Vancouver home sales rose 40.1 per cent year over year to 3,524 units in November, compared with the 2,516 sales recorded in November 2014. This is a 3.3 per cent decrease compared with the 3,646 sales in October 2015.

Broken down by housing type, detached home sales increased 31.9 per cent year over year. As with October, this substantial increase was the slowest growth rate of the three property types. There were 1,335 single-family home sales in November, compared with the 1,012 sales in November 2014.

Townhomes and other attached properties saw an even bigger annual sales increase in November. The 636 units sold represented a 40.7 per cent increase over the 452 units in November 2014.

Sales of condominium-apartments regained their fastest-growth position, totalling 1,553 in November, an increase of 47.6 per cent compared with November 2014 and once more the highest total unit sales of the three property types. Condos were also the only property type to see sales volumes even higher than October's, up 0.6 per cent.

What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance
  Nov/Oct 2015 Nov 2015/Nov 2014
Overall Sales -3.3% +40.1%
- Detached -7.0% +31.9%
- Attached -4.5% +40.7%
- Apartment +0.6% +47.6%
New Listings -17.8% +12.5%
Current Listings -15.4% -35.0%

 

Despite the high sales volumes, there continues to be a dearth of listings in Metro Vancouver. The number homes for sale on the board’s MLS® at the end of November totalled 8,096, a 35 per cent drop compared with November 2014 and a 15.4 per cent drop from October 2015.

McLeod observed, “The ratio of sales to homes available for sale reached 43.5 per cent in November, which is the highest it’s been in our market in nine years.”

The total number of new listings was 17.8 per cent lower than the previous month, but the 3,392 units listed in November was still a rise of 12.5 per cent compared with the same month the previous year.

McLeod added, “This activity has created favourable market conditions for anyone considering selling their home today.”

November was the ninth consecutive month that the sales-to-active-listings ratio has been above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver, meaning that the strong sellers’ market conditions continue to strengthen further.

Benchmark Prices

The benchmark price for combined MLS® residential property types in Metro Vancouver once again set a new record, now at $752,500. This is a 17.8 per cent increase compared with November 2014 and a 2.2 per cent rise over the previous record set the month before.

The price of a Metro Vancouver single-family home increased 22.6 per cent from November 2014 to $1,226,300. This was once again the fastest annual price growth of all the home types, further demonstrating the decreasing supply and increasing demand for these homes.

The benchmark price of a townhome or other attached unit increased 11.3 per cent between November 2014 and 2015 to $536,600.

Continuing the surge seen in October, condo-apartment benchmark prices rose at an even faster annual rate at 14 per cent, to $435,000 – once again defying this property type’s usual modest annual rises of 4 or 5 per cent. This growth reflects both an increase in demand from buyers pushed out of the detached home and townhouse market, and the dramatically rising cost of land for new condominium development.

Greater Vancouver MLS® Benchmark Prices % Change
  Nov 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2014
Detached $1,226,300 +2.4% +22.6%
Townhome $536,600 +1.9% +11.3%
Apartment $435,000 +2.2% +14.0%
 
 
Home prices vary widely throughout the REBGV region. To get a good idea of home prices in a specific location, check the detailed MLS® Home Price Index in the REBGV full statistics package.

Joannah Connolly is the editor and content manager of REW.ca and Real Estate Weekly newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Western Investor and West Coast Condominium. She also moonlights as the host of the Real Estate Therapist call-in show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM every Saturday, 9-10am. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of media experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture and business media. Like many of the residents of her newly adopted town, Joannah has a decidedly unhealthy passion for Vancouver real estate and is often to be found scouring property listings well above her pay grade.
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