Brisk resale market likely a combination of strong economy and looming mortgage stress test, says BCREA
Sales of residential properties across the province totalled 7,731 in November – a jump of 20.4% compared with a year ago, according to new figures released December 12 by the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA).
That’s nearly 11% lower than the busy sales seen in October this year, but high for November, according to BCREA’s monthly compilation of MLS® sales reports from BC’s 11 real estate boards.
The average price of a BC home sold on the MLS® in November set a new high at $723,112. This is up 15.5% compared with November 2016 and around $3,000 higher than the previous month.
Combining the raised sale prices with the increase in sales volumes meant that total dollar volume in November was $5.59 billion, up 39.1% year over year.
The association pointed to robust job and wage growth, rising numbers of Millennials entering their home-buying years, and the looming mortgage stress test coming into force in January as key reasons for the busy fall market. Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, said, “Elevated consumer demand is being supported by strong employment growth, rising wages and favourable demographics.”
Total active home listings across the province fell even further, to 25,656 units as of the end of November. This is 4.4% lower than one year ago and down 8.3% from October this year, as sales remained robust but fewer sellers listed their properties. Five years ago, active listings were typically totalling around double this figure.
By individual real estate board, the small markets of South Okanagan and Powell River were the only two to report fewer sales than in November 2016, and only Powell River saw a reduction in dollar volume. However, Powell River is such a tiny market than a handful of sales can make a huge difference in percentage changes. Of the larger markets, the boards to report the largest year-over-year sales increases were the Fraser Valley (up 37.9%), followed by Greater Vancouver.
BC Northern was the only market to see a year-over-year reduction in average sale price in November, down less than 1%. Of the larger markets, the boards citing the largest year-over-year average price rises were once again the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver.
Read the full BCREA November 2017 report, including a breakdown by all the regions across BC.