Vancouver House Prices Soar in 2015’s First Quarter: Survey

Joannah Connolly
April 15, 2015

With the spring market reaching an early frenzy since February, prices for all housing types in Vancouver saw huge year-over-year growth in the first three months of the year, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released April 15.

The average price for detached bungalows and standard two-storey homes both saw double-digit year-over-year growth, rising 10.6 per cent to $1,174,509 and 10.3 per cent to $1,267,287 respectively. For these two housing types, these were the highest percentage rises and the highest average prices of all the Canadian markets surveyed.

Standard condominiums saw a more modest but still significant rise of 4.9 per cent to an average price of $506,624.

Chris Simmons, owner and manager of Royal LePage Westside, said that prices have been driven by the city's 54 per cent year-over-year rise in home sales, as well as limited inventory causing multiple bids and resulting in many sales over asking price.

“Prices have gone up tremendously. We have seen prices for single-family homes jump as much as 40 per cent year-over-year in some high-demand areas,” said Simmons.

Bill Binnie, broker and owner of Royal LePage Northshore, said, “Vancouver real estate has been a hot topic locally and nationally in recent months. With all of the discussions taking place, people are coming to the realization that there are a lot of prospective buyers chasing a limited number of detached homes. Would-be buyers are trying to get in now while they still can.”

Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada saw slower-than-average growth in the first quarter. This could indicate that the rest of Canada – outside Vancouver and Toronto, which are skewing averages upwards – could be seeing a soft landing.

Across the country, standard two-storey homes rose 5.3 per cent to $451,463, detached bungalows rose 6.6 per cent to $405,895 and standard condominiums rose 3.8 per cent to $261,782.

“Canadian home buyers, with the last decade’s recession still top of mind, have been very sensitive to shifting, broad economic factors. The oil shock has been unsettling for the national economy, consumer confidence and by extension, the housing market,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.

“That said, lower prices at the pump and the confidence boosting move by the central bank to lower interest rates have been supportive. With these factors combined, we have a soft landing for housing after several years of robust expansion. We define a soft-landing as a market in which home prices are flat or increasing slightly, giving the economy and family incomes a chance to catch up.

“On balance, we believe we will not be seeing the kind of appreciation observed over the last three years any time soon, as markets work through the current cycle and align with broader economic conditions. We do not foresee a sharp decline in home prices, particularly in today’s low interest rate environment.”

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.