Overall, home buying activity in May 2017 reached near-record levels in the Metro Vancouver area. However, while sales figures are close to the record-breaking pace of last year, the market has changed. Last year, as in many previous years, the detached home sector led the market. This year it’s the townhome and condominium markets that are driving sales.
The sales-to-active listings ratio, which measures the proportion of properties listed that are sold by the end of the month, tells the story. By the end of May, the very hot condominium market sat at 95%, meaning that 95% of available condos are sold by month’s end. That’s a staggering number, seldom, if ever, seen in our market. For townhomes, 76% of these properties are sold at the end of the month. Still a very significant number. The detached home market is more moderate, with 31% of properties sold by month’s end. Experts and analysts say that upward pressure on prices occurs when the ratio surpasses the 12% mark.
The market has also changed somewhat in terms of where prices have climbed most substantially over the past year. The detached home price has climbed 20% in Bowen Island, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, and Whistler since last May. The Greater Vancouver communities of Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, and New Westminster have remained stable, with price increases of approximately 5% or less since this time last year.
For the townhome market, the greatest increases over last year occurred in Burnaby, Pitt Meadows, and Squamish, with increases ranging from 20% to 26%. Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, and Whistler saw increases between 14% and 18%, while townhomes in Vancouver, Tsawwassen, Richmond, New Westminster, Ladner, and Coquitlam saw increases of 6% to 12%.
The condominium market is showing less variation, with most Greater Vancouver communities experiencing price increases of between 20% and 26% over last year. The exceptions are Vancouver Westside and Tsawwassen, hovering at around a 10% price increase, and Ladner at 3%.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling your property, please give me a call so we can discuss the specifics of the market you’re interested in.
I invite you to visit my new website at www.lizhomes.ca, which offers some exciting features to search or view properties listed on the market.
Wishing you a safe and fun summer.