British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) published a news release on January 13, 2014 titled, “BC Home Sales Bounce Back in 2013”. BCREA reports that, within BC, during 2013, a total of 72,936 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). A sales volume increase of 7.8% is observable, when comparing 2013 to 2012. With a current five-year average being 75,400 units sold within a year, and a ten-year average currently residing at 84,800 units sold, we are not exactly booming in BC compared to our recent history, but we are stable. This is a healthy place for the market to be.
For 2013, the total sales dollar volume is $39.2 billion, representing an increase of 12.6% compared to the 2012 numbers. When looking at the December numbers, BC residential unit sales rose higher by 47% when compared to the same period in 2012. Our total dollar volume was also up in BC by 67.7% (at $2.5 billion,) on the backs of average MLS® residential prices that were higher by 14.1% (to $568,416) year over year.
The BCREA report states that, “[t]he average annual MLS® residential price in the province rose to $537,414 last year, up 4.4 per cent from 2012.” Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, further comments, “After declining nearly 12 per cent in 2012, home sales posted steady growth through last year…Greater Vancouver, Kamloops and Okanagan Mainline Board areas posted the most significant changes, with home sales rising between 12.5 and 14 per cent. Stronger consumer demand combined with fewer homes listed for sale improved market conditions in most regions last year.”
Muir comments, “Large year-over-year changes in December reflect relatively weak activity the previous year rather than evidence of an accelerating market.” While the market may not be accelerating it is in a much more balanced state which means a fair market for both buyers and sellers with inventory in check. While interest rates are low, buyers may want to consider purchasing property and sellers may see this as a good opportunity to move up in the market, taking advantage of the continued low interest rates or perhaps look at investment real estate as the aim of long term value.
BCREA News release January 13, 2014