April 2011 Metro Vancouver Real Estate Update

What is the Real Estate Market doing in Metro Vancouver?MarketUpdate (click on this link to see my other article on imigration factors that are affecting the Vancouver market.)

This month’s headline for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) was, “Home buyers and sellers enter the housing market at near record pace in March.” No question, spring is our busiest time of year! Look for prices to continue to edge up.

Metro Vancouver’s housing market continued to gather momentum in March, with the number of homes on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), both sold and listed approaching record levels. The REBGV reported that sales of the all residential property in Metro Vancouver reached 4,080 in March 2011, a 31.7% climb over February 2011 totals. As well, this was a 30.1% gain over March 2010. (The all-time sales record was March 2004, when 4,371 transactions were recorded.)

Rosario Setticasi, the REBGV’s new president stated, “Our market has had a very strong start to the spring season[,] with home sales above 4,000 and nearly 7,000 home listings added to the MLS® in March, it’s clear that home buyers and sellers view this as a good time to be active in their local housing market.” The fact that interest rates are still (for now) among the lowest that we have seen makes the Metro Vancouver market affordable to a degree, but that will not be the case forever. When rates do move up they will have a cooling effect of the market, as the sheer math will erode affordability.

Total new listings for Metro Vancouver were 6,797 in March 2011 — 3% lower than March 2010 (which was a record setting year). Although, compared to February 2011, last month’s new listings were a whopping 19.4% higher.

The total number of residential property listings on the MLS® was 13,110. This represents a 9.9% rise compared to February 2011, and a 3% slide compared to March 2010. “Conditions favour sellers at the moment, but we’re seeing differences in home-price trends and overall activity, depending on the region and property type,” Setticasi said. This is certainly true when comparing the detached housing market to the condo/townhouse market. Single detached homes have been stronger, but

effectively-priced properties of any type sell, if they are realistic to current market values.

Over the last year the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver rose 5.4% to $615,810 in March 2011, compared to $584,435 in March 2010.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in March 2011 reached 1,795, up 34.4% from March 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties rose 8.3% from March 2010, to $866,806.

Sales of apartment or condo properties reached 1,622 in March 2011, a 29.6% increase compared March 2010, but the benchmark price rose only 2.1% to $403,885, and did not see nearly the strength as the detached properties.

Attached or townhouse property sales in March 2011 totalled 663,000, 20.8% higher than March 2010, and the benchmark price saw modest gains of 3.6 % between March 2010 and 2011, to $511,039.

The domestic market is following economic forecasts from last year, mainly in the condo and townhouse markets, with international buyers boosting the detached housing demand and prices. With the Bank of Canada rate holding steady (April 12, 2011), it is likely that we will see similar growth trends continue in the short term. Of course, with a federal election now set and a possible provincial election looming, things can always change. I recommend acting sooner than later while we know the current conditions and before they start to change.

March 2011 Fast STATS


New Listings

6,797 — up 19.4% from February 2011; down 3% from March 2010


Total residential property listings on MLS

13,110 — up 9.9% from February 2011; down 3% from March 2010


MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) — Benchmark Price

$615,810 — up 5.4% from $584,435 in March 2010


Sales of detached properties on MLS®

1,795 — up 34.4% from March 2010

Benchmark Price: $866,806, up 8.3% from March 2010


Sales of apartment/condo properties

$1,622 — up 29.6% from March 2010

Benchmark price: $403,885, up 2.1% from March 2010


Sales of attached/townhouse properties on MLS®

663,000 — up 20.8% from March 2010

Benchmark Price: $511,039, up 3.6% from March 2010

For the full New Realease click here.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver April 4, News Release

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