Vancouver home buyers set a record-breaking pace last month with residential sales adding up to the highest selling February on record, according to figures released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
Sales in the region totalled 4,172 in February 2016, an increase of 36.3% from the 3,061 sales recorded in the same month last year, and a 65.6% increase compared to January 2016.
“We’re in a competitive, fast-moving market cycle that favours home sellers,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “Sustained home buyer competition is keeping upward pressure on home prices across the region.”
Overall, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price, the average price for residential properties in Metro Vancouver, currently sits at $795,500 – a 22.2% increase compared to the same time last year.
The biggest increase in benchmark price has been for detached properties, which saw a 27% year-on-year increase to $1,305,600. Meanwhile apartments saw a 17.7% increase to $454,600, and the average price of attached units also rose 17% to $569,600.
Some of the biggest year-on-year price increases have been seen in Tsawwassen (32%), West Vancouver (26.1%), Vancouver East (25.8%) and Ladner (25.7%).
The total number of properties for sale on the real estate board’s Multiple Listings Service (MLS) is currently 7,299, a 38.7% decline compared to February 2015 when 11,898 units were listed. That puts the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2016 is 57.2 per cent, which REBGV say is “indicative of a seller’s market.”
“Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark,” they state in a press release, “while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.”