For May 2011 the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) continued its earlier message that the “Greater Vancouver housing market holds steady and favours sellers.” As in previous months, during May we saw home sales remain at typical springtime levels on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver.
The REBGV reported that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver reached 3,377 in May 2011, a 7% gain on the 3,156 sales during May 2010 and a 4.7% bump up from the 3,225 sales in April 2011.
From a historical point of view, May’s residential sales were 8.1% below the 10-year average. The three highest sales levels ever recorded during the month of May occurred in 2005, 2006, and 2007 when sales exceeded the 4,000 mark in each of those years.
“With a sales to active listings ratio of 23 per cent, conditions continue to favour sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market, but activity has eased away from the near record-setting pace we saw in March,” said Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president. He added, “We’re seeing more activity at the high end of our market this year than we did one year ago. This is causing today’s average prices in the region to be less reflective of the total activity occurring in the marketplace.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,931 in May 2011. This represents a 15.4% drop compared to May 2010 when 7,014 properties (the second highest total for May on record) were listed for sale on the MLS®. Last month’s new listings edged up a slight 1.4% compared to April 2011.
Looking at the market over all, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® rose 2% to 14,656 in May compared to April, but fell 16% from this time last year. As well, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver over the last 12 months jumped 6.2% to $627,568, compared to $590,662 in May 2010. Again, this is largely due to the run on detached housing on the west side of Vancouver. I advise caution when applying this information to the entire market, because real estate is always regional!.
Of all residential properties sold on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver in 2011 to date, 21% sold for $1million or more and 20% sold for $350,000 or less. While 77% of the properties that sold for more than $1million were located in West Vancouver, the Westside of Vancouver, or Richmond, the properties that sold for $350,000 or less were located throughout the entire Board area. Again, this indicates weighting to some regions of the market.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in May 2011 reached 1,570, a huge jump of 25% from the 1,256 detached sales year-over-year. The benchmark price for detached properties increased by 10% from May 2010 to $890,833, well beyond expectations for the year.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,228 in May 2011, a 9.3% fall from the 1,354 sales in May 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased by 2.2% from May 2010 to $407,419 (this is close to the 3% forecast that economists were talking about for the entire market last year).
Attached property or townhouses sales in May 2011 totalled 579, a 6% rise compared to the 546 sales in May 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 3.5% to $517,787 between May 2010 and 2011. Again, this is about where we though we would be.
Overall, the detached market is exceeding expectations for the spring market, while condos and townhomes are on track and performing as expected.