Market activity picks up in May
Home buyer activity returned to near record levels across the Metro Vancouver housing market in May.
Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,364 in May 2017, a decrease of 8.5 per cent from the 4,769 sales in May 2016, an all-time record, and an increase of 22.8 per cent compared to April 2017 when 3,553 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were 23.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average and is the third-highest selling May on record.
"Demand for condominiums and townhomes is driving today’s activity," Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “First-time buyers and people looking to downsize from their single-family homes are both competing for these two types of housing.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 6,044 in May 2017. This represents a 3.9 per cent decrease compared to the 6,289 units listed in May 2016 and a 23.2 per cent increase compared to April 2017 when 4,907 homes were listed.
The month-over-month increase in new listings was led by detached homes at 27.1 per cent, followed by apartments at 22.7 per cent and townhomes at 14.1 per cent.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,168, a 5.7 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726) and a 4.5 per cent increase compared to April 2017 (7,813).
"Home buyers are beginning to have more selection to choose from in the detached market, but the number of condominiums for sale continues to decline," Oudil said.
The sales-to-active listings ratio across all residential categories is 53.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 31 per cent for detached homes, 76.1 per cent for townhomes, and 94.6 per cent for condominiums.
Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
“While sales are inching closer to the record-breaking pace of 2016, the market itself looks different. Sales last year were driven by demand for single-family homes. This year, it's clear that townhomes and condominiums are leading the way,” said Oudil. “It’s important to work with your local REALTOR® to understand the different factors affecting the market today.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $967,500. This represents an 8.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to April 2017.
Sales of detached properties in May 2017 reached 1,548, a decrease of 17 per cent from the 1,865 detached sales recorded in May 2016. The benchmark price for a detached property is $1,561,000. This represents a 3.1 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to April 2017.
Sales of apartment properties reached 2,025 in May 2017, a decrease of 5.8 per cent compared to the 2,150 sales in May 2016.The benchmark price for an apartment property is $571,300. This represents a 17.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 3.1 per cent increase compared to April 2017.
Attached property sales in May 2017 totalled 791, an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to the 754 sales in May 2016. The benchmark price for an attached property is $715,400. This represents a 13.1 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to April 2017.
Commercial real estate sales down, values up in the first quarter of 2017
Commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland declined in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 compared to last year while the total dollar value of sales increased across most property types.
There were 561 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, a 19.7 per cent decrease over the 699 sales in Q1 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $3.884 billion in Q1 2017, an 18.2 per cent increase from the $3.287 billion in Q1 2016.
“Commercial real estate activity is below last year’s record-breaking pace and more in line with historical levels in the Lower Mainland,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “The value of what’s being sold, particularly for office and retail properties, is on the rise.”
Q1 2017 activity by category
Land: There were 220 commercial land sales in Q1 2017, which is a 25.7 per cent decrease from the 296 land sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of land sales was $1.674 billion in Q1 2017, an 11.6 per cent decrease over $1.895 billion in Q1 2016.
Office and Retail: There were 203 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 2.4 per cent from the 208 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $1.614 billion in Q1 2017, an 80.1 per cent increase over $0.896 billion in Q1 2016.
Industrial: There were 111 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 28.8 per cent over the 156 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.219 billion in Q1 2017, a 13.6 per cent decrease over $0.253 billion in Q1 2016.
Multi-Family: There were 27 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 30.8 per cent over the 39 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $0.375 billion in Q1 2017, a 55 per cent increase from $0.242 billion in Q1 2016.