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Real Estate Trends

Home Sales Outstrip 10-Year Average as Prices Keep Rising

Greater Vancouver sales last month were lower than hot August, but benchmark price breaks another record
By Joannah Connolly Oct 3, 2017

Greater Vancouver registered 2,821 home sales on the Multiple Listing Service ® in September – 25.2% higher than a year ago, but 7.3% less busy than August this year, according to the latest Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) statistics.

Having recovered significantly this spring, following a market cooldown and the foreign buyer tax launch last fall, home sales in the region have been largely sliding since May this year – aside from a strong performance in August.

However, September’s sales were still robust from a historical perspective, at 13.1% higher than the 10-year average for the month.


At 5,375 units, new listings on the market increased both month over month (up 26.6%) and year over year (12%), as sellers looked to enter what is usually perceived as a busy fall market. This flurry of new listings brought the total active inventory up to 9,354 units as of the end of September, a monthly rise of 7.5% and a 1.2% rise over the same month last year.

Across all the housing types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2017 is 29.8% – still a strong seller’s market, but lower than August’s 34.6%. However, the market conditions vary within each property type. The ratio is 14.6% for detached homes – a balanced market, and moving towards a buyer’s market – compared with 42.3% for townhomes and 60.4% for condominiums – both strong seller’s markets, but both also lower than last month.

“Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment and townhome sales remain in sellers' market territory,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “If you’re looking to enter the market, as either a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand these trends and use this information to set realistic expectations.”

Despite sales slowing compared with the previous month, the benchmark price of a typical home (composite of property types) rose to another new record, now at $1,037,300.

Home Type Breakdown

Unlike in August, where single-family homes saw the biggest annual rise compared with last year’s slump, detached transactions did not post the steepest year-over-year growth in September. The 852 house sales in Greater Vancouver were 27.4% higher than the same month last year, but 5.5% lower than August’s 902 transactions.

Townhomes, duplexes, row homes and other attached home sales far outstripped detached homes in terms of annual growth, rising 40.4% year-over-year to 518, although this is still down 2.1% from August.

September saw 1,451 condo units (1,613 condos selling in Greater Vancouver, a 19.1% increase compared with September 2016, but 10% lower than the extremely hot condo market in August this year.

Prices by Property Type

Even though sales fell and listings rose compared with August this year, benchmark prices across all property types rose another 0.7% on top of that month’s record price, setting a new bar at $1,037,300. This is a 10.9% jump since September 2016.

However, this overall price rise was dominated by attached units and condos, with detached homes rising just 0.1% month-over-month to $1,617,300 – just 2.9% higher than one year ago.

“Detached homes made up 30% of all sales in September and represented 62% of all the homes listed for sale,” observed Oudil. “This dynamic has slowed the pace of upward pressure that we’ve seen on detached home prices in our market over the last few years.”

The benchmark price of a typical attached home is $786,600 – a 14.5% increase over September 2016 and a 1.1% rise since August 2017.

Reflecting the unabating demand for this home type, condos saw the largest monthly and annual price rises. The benchmark price of a typical Greater Vancouver condo-apartment property is now $635,800 – 21.7% higher than a year ago and up 1.4% from August 2017.

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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