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Strong sales put Greater Vancouver real estate in strong sellers' market

Strong sales helped push prices up 6.8% year-over-year
Some construction is rejuvenating Vancouver's Downtown South neighbourhood.

Strong sales in the Greater Vancouver region helped push the sales-to-active-listings ratio for all residential property types to 44.6%, which is far higher than the 28.8% percentage seen in January.

Industry wisdom is that when this metric is above 12% for a period of time, the market is considered a sellers' market because sellers are thought to have the upper hand in negotiating sales. When that metric is below 12% for a period of time, the market is considered to be a buyers' market, as buyers are thought to have more sway when negotiating sales.

“Metro Vancouver’s housing market is experiencing seller’s market conditions," said Colette Gerber, chair of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. "The supply of listings for sale isn’t keeping up with the demand we’re seeing."

REBGV data shows that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,727 in February, a 73.3% increase from the 2,150 sales recorded in February 2020, and a 56% increase from the 2,389 homes sold in January.

That increase in sales came in the last full month before the COVID-19 pandemic descended, disrupting home sales in the region.

Sales in February were 42.8 per cent above the 10-year February sales average, according to the REBGV.

New listings are helping drive sales There were 5,048 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver in February. This represents a 26.1% increase compared to the 4,002 homes listed in February 2020, and a 12.7% increase compared to January, when 4,480 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro Vancouver is 8,358, a 9.1% decrease compared to February, 2020, when there were 9,195, and a 0.6% increase compared to January, when there were 8,306.

To break down the sales by property class:
• sales of detached homes in the region hit 1,231 in February, up 79.7% from the 685 detached sales recorded in February 2020;
• sales of apartments reached 1,759 in February, up 65.8% compared to the 1,061 sales in February 2020; and
• sales of attached rose to 737 in February, up 82.4% compared to the 404 sales in February 2020.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is $1,084,000, up 6.8% from February 2020, and up 2.6% from January, according to the REBGV.

Year-over-year price increases were particularly pronounced on Bowen Island (up 34.4%), the Sunshine Coast (up 32.7%), West Vancouver (up 16.1%), Maple Ridge (up 14.8%) and Ladner (up 13.7%).

Here is how the benchmark prices increased in the three main residential real estate property classes:
• the benchmark price for a detached home is $1,621,200 – up 13.7% from February, 2020, and up 2.8% compared to January:
• the benchmark price of an apartment is $697,500 – up 2.5% from February, 2020, and up 2.5% compared to January; and
• the benchmark price of an attached home is $839,800 – up 7.2% from February, 2020, and up 2.9% compared to January.