Hottest April on Record for Weather – and Real Estate Sales: Stats

Joannah Connolly
May 3, 2016

Meteorologists are saying that April 2016 was likely the hottest April in recorded history – and that was also true for Greater Vancouver real estate.

Residential unit sales in the region saw the busiest-ever April – although they didn’t reach the highs of the previous month, according to the latest statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) issued May 3.

Home sales in Greater Vancouver last month were 14.4 per cent higher than April 2015, 41.7 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month, but 7.6 per cent lower than March 2016’s all-time record-breaking figures.

The benchmark price of a home (composite property types) in the region raised the bar again in April, at $844,800. This is a 25.3 per cent increase compared with April 2015.

The number of homes newly listed on the Greater Vancouver market increased 3.9 per cent compared with the April 2015, but it was 2.4 per cent lower than March 2016. This annual increase in new listings proved inadequate compared with demand. Total active listings at the end of April were down more than 39.3 per cent year over year, as hungry buyers absorbed all the new property listings and many of those previously on the market.

Sales and Listings

April home sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,781, a 14.4 per cent rise compared with the 4,179 sales recorded in April 2015 but a drop of 7.6 cent compared with March 2016, when 5,173 homes were sold.

A total of 1,979 single-family homes were sold in April, which is a rise of nine per cent from the 1,815 transactions recorded in April 2015, but a 7.3 per cent drop compared with March’s 2,135 detached home sales.

Sales of townhouses and other attached homes were the only property type to drop year over year. The 695 total was fall of 11.6 per cent over the 785 transactions in April 2015, which is likely to be a result of the extremely limited inventory of this housing type. Sales were also down 11.6 per cent compared with March’s 786 townhome transactions.

It was a different story for condo-apartment units, 2,107 of which exchanged hands in April 2016, an increase of 33.4 per cent compared with the 1,579 sales in April 2015. Condos once more saw the fastest annual sales growth of the three home types, and were again the property type with the highest total sales. However, April’s figures were a 6.4 per cent decline from March’s 2,252 condo-apartment sales.

Property inventory only slightly improved in April, with new listings for all home types in Metro Vancouver up 3.9 per cent to 6,127, compared with the 5,897 units listed in April 2015.However, this was a drop of 2.4 per cent compared with the 6,278 new listings in March 2016.

With so many buyers looking for homes, this meagre offering of new listings was not nearly enough. The total number of properties currently available for sale on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® as of the end of April is 7,550. This is a 39.3 per cent drop from the 12,436 active listings at the end of April 2015, although a 2.6 per cent increase compared with 7,358 total listed properties as of the end of March.

Greater Vancouver’s sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2016 is now 63.3 per cent, now in its 14th consecutive month of the sales-to-active-listings ratio being above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver, as the sellers’ market keeps its firm grip.

“Home buyer competition remains intense across the region,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president. “Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, it’s important to work with your local REALTOR® to get the information you need and to develop a strategy that will help you navigate today’s market.”

Benchmark Prices

Metro Vancouver’s combined residential property type benchmark price predictably set another new record in April, at $844,800 – a year-over-year rise of 25.3 per cent compared with April 2015.

The area’s typical detached home is now priced at $1,403,200, a rise of 30.1 per cent compared with the same month last year, and once more the steepest price rise of all the property types. This was a rise of 4.5 per cent over March’s $1,342,500.

The benchmark price of a townhome or other attached unit in Greater Vancouver increased 22.1 per cent over April 2015 to $608,600, up 3.3 per cent compared with March.

Condo-apartment benchmark prices rose 20.6 per cent from April 2015 to $475,000. This property type increased in price by 2.6 per cent compared with March.

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. 

Check out our essential infographic, which reveals wide variations in home price by area, here.

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.