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Vancouver’s Home Sales See Another Leap in February: REBGV

Joannah Connolly
March 2, 2016

February 2016 may have had an extra day this year, but that doesn’t begin to account for the leap in Greater Vancouver home sales over the month, which rose more than 36 per cent year over year, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported March 2.

Like January’s figures, and like the Fraser Valley, the residential unit sales volume is the highest ever recorded for the month of February, said the board.

February’s sales were 56.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and were also 65.6 per cent higher than January’s figures, as the spring market got under way early.

The benchmark price of a home (composite property types) in the region raised the bar again in February, at $795,500. This is a bump of 22.2 per cent per cent over February 2015’s typical home price, but that figure masks a month-over-month drop in condo prices.

The number of homes newly listed on the Greater Vancouver market rose 7.1 per cent compared with the 5,425 units listed in February 2015, up 30.8 per cent with January 2016, as sellers took advantage of the hot market.

Sales and Listings

Greater Vancouver home sales in February totalled 4,172, a 36.3 per cent rise compared with the 3,061 sales recorded in February 2015 and an increase of 65.6 per cent versus January 2016, when 2,519 homes sold.

Split by property type, there were 1,778 detached home sales in the region in February, a rise of 37.2 per cent from the 1,296 detached sales recorded in February 2015, and an increase of 69.8 per cent month over month..

Townhome and other attached property sales continued to grow, although they further slowed their rate of annual sales growth in February. The total of 604 sales was an increase of 15.9 over the 521 transactions in February 2015. This was also a jump of nearly 61 per cent over January.

Sales of condominium-apartments totalled 1,790 in February 2016, an increase of 43.9 per cent compared with the 1,244 sales in February 2015. This was once more the fastest annual sales growth of the three types, and again the property type with the highest total sales. It was also a 63 per cent leap over January’s figures.

What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance
  Jan/Feb 2016 Feb 2015/2016
Overall Sales +65.6% +36.3%
- Detached +69.8% +37.2%
- Attached +60.6% +15.9%
- Apartment +63.3% +43.9%
New Listings +30.8% +7.1%
Current Listings +10.0% -38.7%


Property inventory was still tight in February, although it continued its recovery compared with recent months. New listings for all home types in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,812 in February 2016, an increase of 7.1 per cent compared with the 5,425 units listed in February 2015, and a strong boost of 30.8 per cent compared with January 2016 when 4,442 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently available for sale on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® as of the end of February is 7,299. This is a 38.7 per cent drop compared with February 2015 (11,898) but an 8.9 per cent increase compared to January 2016 (6,635).

Greater Vancouver’s sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2016 is 57.2 per cent, making it the 12th consecutive month that the sales-to-active-listings ratio has been above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver, as the strong sellers’ market retains its firm grip.

Benchmark Prices

Metro Vancouver’s combined residential property type benchmark price predictably set another new record in February, at $795,500, a rise of 22.2 per cent compared with February 2015 and a 0.7 per cent rise over the previous month’s price.

The area’s typical detached home is now priced at $1,305,600, a rise of 27 per cent compared with the same month last year, and once more the sharpest rise in prices of all the property types. This was a rise of 0.9 per cent over January’s $1,293,700.

The benchmark price of a townhome or other attached unit in Greater Vancouver increased 17 per cent over February 2015 to $569,600, up 1 per cent compared with January.

Condo-apartment benchmark prices continued to be the most volatile, in February slowing their annual growth somewhat, up 17.7 per cent from February 2015 to $454,600. This property type was the only one to record a month-over-month decline in benchmark price, down 0.4 per cent compared with January’s $456,600, as high levels of new inventory eased demand and pressure on prices.

Greater Vancouver MLS® Benchmark Prices % Change
  Feb 2016 Jan 2016 Feb 2015
Detached $1,305,600 +0.9% +27%
Townhome $569,600 +1.0% +17%
Apartment $454,600 -0.4% +18%


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.