Metro Vancouver homebuyer demand at 'historically typical levels' last month

Oct 3 2019, 6:08 pm

Home buyer demand has returned to more “historically typical levels” in Metro Vancouver over the last three months, bringing September more in line with normal patterns, according to industry experts.

In its report on activity in the region for the month of September, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) said that residential home sales in the region last month totalled 2,333 units.

This, they said, is a 46.3% increase from the 1,595 unit sales recorded in September 2018, and a 4.6% increase from the 2,231 units sold in August 2019. All told, last month’s sales were 1.7% below the 10-year September sales average.

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“We’re seeing more balanced housing market conditions over the last three months compared to what we saw at this time last year,” said REBGV president Ashley Smith in a statement. “Home buyers are more willing to make offers today, particularly in the townhome and apartment markets.”

There were 4,866 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed in the region in September 2019. REBGV said this represents a 7.8% decrease compared to the 5,279 homes listed in September 2018 and a 29.9% increase compared to August 2019 when 3,747 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver is 13,439 — a 2.7% increase compared to September 2018 (13,084 units) and a 0.3% increase compared to August 2019 (13,396 units).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2019 is 17.4%. By property type, the ratio is 12.7% for detached homes, 18.9% for townhomes, and 21.9%for apartments.

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

“This is a more comfortable market for people on both sides of a real estate transaction,” added Smith. “Home sale and listing activity were both at typical levels for our region in September.”

The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $990,600. This represents a 7.3% decrease over September 2018 and a 0.3% decrease compared to August 2019.

Sales of detached homes in September 2019 reached 745 units, a 46.7% increase from the 508 detached sales recorded in September 2018. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,406,200. This represents an 8.6% decrease from September 2018 and is virtually unchanged compared to August 2019.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,166 units, a 43.6% increase compared to the 812 unit sales in September 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $651,500. This represents a 6.5% decrease from September 2018 and a 0.4% decrease compared to August 2019.

Townhome sales totalled 422 units, a 53.5% increase compared to the 275 unit sales during the same period last year. The benchmark price of an attached home is $767,500. This represents a 7.2% decrease from September 2018 and a 0.6% decrease compared to August 2019.