BC Home Sales See Another Record June: BCREA

Christina Newberry
July 14, 2016

After all-time record-breaking home sale numbers three months in a row, BC residential home sales dipped just slightly in June to 12,906 unit sales from May’s high of 13,438, according to BC Real Estate Association figures released July 14. Still, that’s the hottest June ever recorded for home sales in the province, up 14.3 per cent from the previous June record of 11,294 in 2015.

“Robust housing demand in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan drove sales growth in June,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA economist. “At the same time, the inventory of homes for sale continues to slide lower, creating very tight market conditions around the province.”

Sales-to-active listings ratios remain tight throughout much of the province, with only the BC Northern (16.2%), Kamloops (19.7%), Kootenay (12.1%) and Northern Lights (5.1%) boards reporting ratios below 20 per cent. Greater Vancouver’s sales-to-active listings ratio was 52.7 per cent in June, compared to 33.6 per cent a year ago. In Victoria (68.7%) and the Fraser Valley (64.2%), the sales-to-active listings ratios now correspond to less than two months of supply given current demand in those markets.

The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 10 per cent year-over-year to $694,925, and total sales dollar volume was up 25.7 per cent year-over-year to $8.97 billion. Powell River saw the greatest year-over-year increase, up 31.3 per cent to $302,986, followed by the Fraser Valley (+23% to $572,888) and Chilliwack (+20.2% to $343,367). In Greater Vancouver, the average price was $1,026,207 in June, up 11.3 per cent year-over-year.

Year-to-date BC residential sales dollar volume increased 53.2 per cent compared to the same period last year to $49.9 billion. Year-to-date residential unit sales climbed by 30.6 per cent to 67,361 units.

UPDATE: BC's dip in sales from May's high contributed to a 0.9 per cent national dip in home sales from May to June, according to Canadian real Estate Association (CREA) data released July 15. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity  was 5.2 per cent higher than in June 2015. National year-over-year increases have been steadily losing momentum since February 2016.

"June sales extended trends observed the previous month," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist. "As was the case in May, the monthly decline in national sales activity was led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and markets in or around the GTA. In keeping with the law of supply and demand, exceptionally low inventory combined with high demand continues to translate into strong price growth in these housing markets, where year-over-year price gains have been running in double-digit territory since late last year."

The number of new homes listed for sale in Canada rose 2.2 per cent from May to June, with new supply in the Fraser Valley contributing to the national increase. CREA also cited the return of activity in the Fort McMurray market following the May wildfire and evacuation as a contributor to the national increase. 

The national sales-to-new-listings ratio dipped from 65.3 per cent in May to 63.3 per cent in June. The ratio was above 60 per cent in about half of all local housing markets in June, virtually all of them located in British Columbia and Ontario. There were 4.6 months of inventory in Canada at the end of June 2016, which is unchanged from May's lowest level in more than six years.

The aggregate composite MLS® Benchmark price rose by 13.6 percent year-over-year to $564,700, the largest gain since December 2006. 

To read the full BCREA report including statistics broken down by region, click here.

To read the CREA report, click here. 



Christina Newberry
Christina Newberry is a Vancouver-based writer and editor who writes lifestyle and travel stories for publications both online and in print. When she's not travelling, Christina can be found exploring Vancouver's unique neighbourhoods or puttering in her community garden plot.