Home buyer demand continues to differ based on housing type

Apartment and townhome activity is outpacing the detached home market across Metro Vancouver. This activity helped push total residential sales above the historical average in September.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,821 in September 2017, a 25.2 per cent increase from the 2,253 sales recorded in September 2016, and a 7.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2017 when 3,043 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 13.1 per cent above the 10-year September sales average.

“Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment and townhome sales remain in sellers’ market territory,” Jill Oudil, REBGVpresident said. “If you’re looking to enter the market, as either a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand these trends and use this information to set realistic expectations.”

There were 5,375 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2017. This represents a 12 per cent increase compared to the 4,799 homes listed in September 2016 and a 26.6 per cent increase compared to August 2017 when 4,245 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,466, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to September 2016 (9,354) and a 7.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017 (8,807).

“Detached homes made up 30 per cent of all sales in September and represented 62 per cent of all the homes listed for sale on the MLS®,” said Oudil. “This dynamic has slowed the pace of upward pressure that we’ve seen on detached home prices in our market over the last few years.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2017 is 29.8 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.6 per cent for detached homes, 42.3 per cent for townhomes, and 60.4 per cent for apartments.

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.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,037,300. This represents a 10.9 per cent increase over September 2016 and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Sales of detached properties in September 2017 reached 852, a 27.9 per cent increase from the sales recorded in September 2016 (666), a decrease of 33 per cent from September 2015 (1,272), and a decrease of 32.9 per cent from September 2014 (1,270). The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,617,300. This represents a 2.9 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,451 in September 2017, a 19.1 per cent increase compared from the sales recorded in September 2016 (1,218), a 5.1 per cent decrease from September 2015 (1,529), and a 22.1 per cent increase from September 2014 (1,188). The benchmark price of an apartment property is $635,800. This represents a 21.7 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Attached property sales in September 2017 totalled 518, a 40.4 per cent increase compared to the sales recorded in September 2016 (369), a 4.8 per cent decrease from September 2015 (544), and an 11.6 per cent increase from September 2014 (464). The benchmark price of an attached home is $786,600. This represents a 14.5 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Condominium sales drive August activity

Competition for condominiums and townhomes pushed Metro Vancouver* home sales above typical levels in August.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 3,043 in August 2017, a 22.3 per cent increase from the 2,489 sales recorded in August 2016, and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to July 2017 when 2,960 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 19.6 per cent above the 10-year August sales average.

“First-time home buyers have led a surge this summer in demand in our condominium and townhome markets,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “Homes priced between $350,000 and $750,000 have been subject to intense competition and multiple offers across the region.”

There were 4,245 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in August 2017. This represents a 1.1 per cent decrease compared to the 4,293 homes listed in August 2016 and a 19.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2017 when 5,256 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,807, a 3.5 per cent increase compared to August 2016 (8,506) and a 4.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2017 (9,194).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2017 is 34.6 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 16.3 per cent for detached homes, 44.8 per cent for townhomes, and 76.3 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Conditions in our detached home market are distinct today from the dynamic in our condominium and townhome markets,” Oudil said. “Detached homes have entered a balanced market. This means there’s less upward pressure on prices and that buyers have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decisions.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,029,700. This represents a 9.4 per cent increase over August 2016 and a one per cent increase compared to July 2017.

Sales of detached properties in August 2017 reached 901, a 26 per cent increase from the 715 detached sales recorded in August 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,615,100. This represents a 2.2 per cent increase from August 2016 and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to July 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,613 in August 2017, a 20.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,343 sales in August 2016. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $626,800. This represents a 19.4 per cent increase from August 2016 and a 1.7 per cent increase compared to July 2017.

Attached property sales in August 2017 totalled 529, a 22.7 per cent increase compared to the 431 sales in August 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $778,300. This represents a 12.8 per cent increase from August 2016 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to July 2017.

 

Commercial real estate activity below last year’s record-setting pace

Commercial real estate activity in the Lower Mainland declined from the record highs of one year ago and returned to more historically typical levels in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.

There were 595 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, a 32 per cent decrease from the record 875 sales in Q2 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 $2.886 billion in Q2 2017, a 37.5 per cent decrease from $4.615 billion in Q2 2016. 

“Land and industrial sales experienced the largest year-over-year declines last quarter, with sales in both categories down more than one-third compared to 2016,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “Looking back over several years, however, we see that last quarter’s sale and dollar value activity follow more historically normal trend lines.”

Q2 2017 activity by category

Land: There were 227 commercial land sales in Q2 2017, which is a 39.3 per cent decrease from the 374 land sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of land sales was $1.510 billion in Q2 2017, a 28.6 per cent decrease from $2.116 billion in Q2 2016.

Office and Retail: There were 218 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, which is down 23.2 per cent from the 284 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $0.775 billion in Q2 2017, a 57.7 per cent decrease from $1.835 billion in Q2 2016.

Industrial: There were 114 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, which is down 34.9 per cent over the 175 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.243 billion in Q2 2017, a 13.3 per cent decrease from $0.280 billion in Q2 2016.

Multi-Family: There were 36 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, which is down 14.3 per cent over the 42 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $0.358 billion in Q2 2017, a 6.8 per cent decrease from $0.384 billion in Q2 2016.

*Editor’s Note

Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: 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 real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2016, 39,943 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $2.5 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 17,600 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $40 billion in 2016.

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