Like the Fraser Valley, the Greater Vancouver spring housing market leaped into action in February, with sales up 21 per cent year over year, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) figures released March 3.
The region's 3,061 sales were also 20.2 per cent over the 10-year average, as 2015's spring market heated up early on the back of falling interest rates and rising buyer demand, and switched to a seller's market.
The sharp rise in sales pushed the benchmark price for a residential property in Greater Vancouver up to $649,700, a rise of 6.4 per cent compared with February 2014. This is higher than average compared with the annual lifts seen in benchmark prices every month for the past year.
After townhouses and other attached properties outstripped growth of detached homes in January, single-family homes in Greater Vancouver regained their highest-growth position in February.
Sales and Listings
Greater Vancouver MLS® home sales totalled 3,061 in February, an increase of 21 per cent compared with February 2014, and a jump of 60 per cent compared with January 2015.
Detached single-family home sales increased 25.6 per cent, regaining their highest-growth status after a switch with townhomes in January. Sales of townhomes and other attached properties rose 11.8 per cent year over year.
The most unexpected story was the steep rise in condo sales, which went from seeing steady but comparatively low growth (up 7.4 per cent year over year in January) to rising 20.5 per cent year over year in February.
New listings in Greater Vancouver in February were 15.4 per cent higher than the same month last year. Similarly to previous months, active listings were down 11.3 per cent, reflecting the tightened inventory.
The market moved firmly into a seller's market, with the sales-to-active-listings ratio rising to 25.7 per cent, the highest since March 2011.
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Ray Harris, REBGV president, said, “It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now.”
Broken down by area, the biggest rise in detached home sales was in Squamish, where February single-family home sales tripled year over year. Delta posted the largest jump in attached properties, of which sales were up 166.7 per cent compared with February 2014. Condo sales increased the most in West Vancouver, rising more than 214 per cent.
The Sunshine Coast posted the region's largest sales declines, with detached home sales down 11.4 per cent year over year and townhomes down 33.3 per cent.
Benchmark Price (MLS® Home Price Index)
The benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver now stands at $649,700, which is up 6.4 per cent year over year and up 1.3 per cent compared with January's $641,600, .
Single-family detached homes continued to see the highest price rises of all property types.
Despite the sharp year-over-year jump in condominium apartment sales, there was not a similarly sharp rise in condo in February.
The composite benchmark prices by housing type are:
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“We’re seeing more multiple-offer situations and generally more traffic at open houses,” Harris said.
To see our infographic highlighting this month's headline figures and breaking down prices by area, click here.
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.
- The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver covers Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
- The board covers only homes being resold through the Multiple Listing Service, and does not record sales of newly built homes unless they are listed with the MLS®, so the house prices in the Home Price Index don't reflect all of the residential real estate sold in the area.