Greater Vancouver Home Prices up Nearly 30% Since Last May: REBGV

Joannah Connolly
June 2, 2016

Greater Vancouver’s home sales in May were up 17.6 per cent compared with the same month last year, although slightly down compared with March and April, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported June 2.

Last month the region’s residential real estate sales were 35.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for May, but 0.3 per cent lower than April's figures and again falling shy of March 2016’s all-time high.

The benchmark price of a home (composite property types) across all of Greater Vancouver set another new record, at $889,100 – a 29.7 per cent rise over May 2015. However, this number masks massive variations in typical prices between cities and neighbourhoods.

However, there was some good news in terms on inventory. The number of homes newly listed on the Greater Vancouver market increased, by 11.5 per cent compared with May 2015, to 6,289, which was also slightly higher than April 2016. This increase in new listings meant that total active listings at the end of May were higher than April’s active listings, although it was still down more than a third year over year, as demand continued to skyrocket.

Sales and Listings

May’s residential real estate sales totalled 4,769, a rise of 17.3 per cent year over year, but 0.3 per cent lower than April when 4,781 units were sold across the region. That April figure was a drop of 7.6 cent compared with March 2016, when an all-time high of 5,173 homes were sold in Greater Vancouver.

Broken down by property type, 1,865 single-family homes exchanged hands in May, which is a rise of 8.2 per cent from the 1,723 sales recorded in April 2015, but a 5.8 per cent drop compared with April’s 1,979 detached house sales.

Unlike in April, townhouse and other attached home transactions also increased year over year in May, totalling 754 sales. This was a lift of 2.9 per cent over the 733 units in May 2015, and a jump of 9.9 per cent compared with April’s 695 townhome sales.

Condo-apartment unit sales continued to see blistering annual increases, as 2,150 units exchanged hands in May 2016, a leap of 34.4 per cent compared with the 1,600 sales in May 2015. This was also a two per cent increase over April 2016’s figure or 2,107 sales.

Property inventory expanded somewhat in May, with new listings for all home types in Metro Vancouver up 11.5 per cent to 6,289, compared with the 5,641 properties listed in May 2015. This was a rise of 2.6 per cent compared with the 6,127 new listings in April 2016.

The improvement meant that total active listings as of the end of May were 7,726, up 2.3 per cent compared with April’s active listings, although the figure was still down 37.3 per cent year over year.

The sales-to-active listings ratio in Greater Vancouver as of May 2016 stands at 61.7 per cent. This is now the 15th consecutive month of the sales-to-active-listings ratio being above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver – the percentage that indicates a strong seller’s market.

“Home sellers are becoming more active in recent months, although that activity is being outpaced by home buyer demand today,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president.

Benchmark Prices

The combined residential property type benchmark price in Metro Vancouver raised the bar again in May, at $889,100 – a year-over-year rise of 29.7 per cent.

The region’s typical detached home is now priced at $1,513,800, a hike of 36.9 per cent compared with the same month last year, and yet again the sharpest price rise of all the home types. This was a rise of nearly 8 per cent since just the previous month. Again, these figures mask wide variation between areas, with Vancouver West’s family homes selling for a typical $3.4 million, and prices going down to a typical $445,000 on the Sunshine Coast.

Townhome or other attached unit benchmark prices in Greater Vancouver increased 24.9 per cent over May 2015 to $632,400, up 3.9 per cent compared with April.

Condo-apartment benchmark prices rose 22.3 per cent from May 2015 to $485,000. This property type increased in price by 2.1 per cent compared with April. West Vancouver posted the highest condo prices in May at $851,800, with condos in Maple Ridge typically going for $187,100.

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
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.