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Real Estate Trends

Greater Vancouver Home Sales Up 22% in Hot August

Real estate market has recovered from foreign–buyer-tax lull one year ago
By Joannah Connolly Sep 5, 2017

There were 3,043 home sales in Greater Vancouver last month – up nearly 3% compared with July’s activity, and the second-hottest August on record, beaten only by August 2015, according to new Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) figures.

The figure is an annual increase of 22.3% compared with last August, which saw a hiatus in activity, partly because of the foreign buyer tax that was introduced August 2, 2016.

However, August this year saw a real estate market that was healthy in its own right, at 19.6% higher than the 10-year average for that month.

REBGV Aug '17

Listings continued to decline both month over month and year over year, with the number of sellers listing their homes still failing to keep up with demand.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2017 is 34.6 per cent, which is a seller’s market. However, broken down by property type, the ratio is 16.3% for detached homes – a buyer’s market – compared with 44.8% for townhomes and 76.3% for condominiums – both strong seller’s markets.

Correspondingly, home prices continued to rise, driven by the condo and townhome sectors, which are still in a strong seller’s market. The MLS® composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is now $1,029,700 – 1% more than the previous month, when it broke the million-dollar barrier for the first time.

Home Type Breakdown

Because single-family home sales saw the biggest slump in August 2016, this was the property type to see the largest year-over-year rise last month. Detached home transactions were 26% higher than one year previously, at 902 sales – but that is a near-5% decline compared with July this year.

Attached properties such as townhomes, duplexes and row homes rose 22.7% year-over-year to 529 units in August, down 2.8% compared with July.

There were 1,613 condos exchanging hands in August 2017, a 20.1% increase compared to the 1,343 sales in August 2016. This is an extremely hot condo market for August – and the reason this is the lowest year-over-year growth is that condos sales did not slide as much as other property types one year ago. This August’s condo sales total is nearly 9% higher than July’s, with condos the only property type to see a month-over-month increase – but that was still enough to push total Greater Vancouver home sales up 2.8% compared with July.

“First-time home buyers have led a surge this summer in demand in our condominium and townhome markets,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “Homes priced between $350,000 and $750,000 have been subject to intense competition and multiple offers across the region.”

Prices by Property Type

Reflecting the increased demand – or lack of supply – benchmark prices across all property types increased both month over month and year over year. The MLS® composite benchmark price in Greater Vancouver (all property types combined) rose 9.4% year over year to $1,029,700 – 1% more than July’s million-dollar-mark-busting price.

Broken out by property type, the board’s benchmark price for single-family homes across the region now stands at $1,615,100 – a 2.2% increase compared with August 2016 and up 0.2% over July 2017.

The attached unit benchmark price is now $778,300, which is a 12.8% rise over August 2016 and 1.9% higher than July this year.

The typical Greater Vancouver condo is now priced at $626,800, which is a 19.4% annual increase and a 1.7% rise over July 2017.

For a visual overview of Greater Vancouver's August 2017 real estate market trends, see our detailed infographic below. 

REBGV Infographic Aug '17


Our recap video breaks down the essential August 2017 Greater Vancouver real estate market takeaways below. 

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.
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