Is Vancouver real estate heading for a seller's market?
Real estate sales in May rose 14 per cent over the same month last year
Vancouver real estate may finally be headed towards a seller's market, as the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver announces a 14 per cent rise in sales this May over the same month last year.
According to the REBGV, the sale of detached homes also increased 19.9 per cent and apartment sales are up 13.2 per cent.
A seller's market refers to the ratio of listings to sales, where for every five homes on the market in one month, at least three are sold.
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REBGV president Ray Harris said Vancouver's housing market is now the most active it has been in three years.
"We have been in a balanced market now for about six to seven months. Last month was our first move and this is the second move into a seller's market," he said.
"We're looking forward to seeing if the move towards a seller's market is really going to have an impact on price."
Realtor Wayne Hamill, who sells homes on the west side of Vancouver, says there is also a greater sense of competitiveness among buyers.
"They don't mind competing. They don't mind being one of many offers," he said.
"They certainly don't mind paying over asking, if that's what it takes to get the property. That has been a big change over the last year."
Hamill said a home he put on the market on Monday for an asking price of $2.8 million has already had two offers.
"There seems to be this non-stop supply of people from different parts of the world and I guess compared to other parts of the world, we are still good value."
The benchmark price to buy a detached home in Greater Vancouver is now slightly less than $1 million, but homes south of the Fraser River are moving fast too.
Realtors in the Fraser Valley have had their busiest May in seven years.
Cloverdale Realtor Jonathan Erickson believes it is a result of the upturn in the Greater Vancouver market.
"The Fraser Valley is getting the benefit of buyers coming from other areas of New West, Coquitlam, Burnaby ... utilizing the new Port Mann. And moving out to the friendly Fraser Valley."
Real estate analysts warn this doesn'tnecessarily indicate a long term trend of increasing prices and it is more likely a market correction from poor sales in previous years.