British Columbia

Vancouver-area home sales rebound from last year as prices inch downward: REBGV

January sales remained steady while fewer people put their homes on the real estate market in Metro Vancouver.

Home sales in January were 7.3% below 10-year average, but still higher than January 2019

Apartment sales in Vancouver and the surrounding area jumped to 814 units last month, a 45.6 per cent increase compared with January last year, while the benchmark price slipped 1.5 per cent to $663,200. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Sales remained steady while fewer people put their homes on the real estate market in Vancouver and the surrounding region last month.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported residential home sales in January were 7.3 per cent below the 10-year average, but still more than 42 per cent higher than sales during January 2019.

Board president Ashley Smith said 2020 began with fewer homes listed for sale than is typical for this time of year, but she said there was steady demand for the listings.

The spring market is usually more active and Smith said the board will be watching to see if home listings keep pace with demand.

Apartment sales jumped to 814 units last month, a 45.6 per cent increase compared with January last year, while the benchmark price slipped 1.5 per cent to $663,200.

The benchmark price for a detached home in the region also fell in January by 1.7 per cent to just over $1.43 million.

Municipalities and areas covered by the REBGV include Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.

2 separate markets

Steve Saretsky, a Vancouver-area real estate agent, says it's important to distinguish the data into two different kinds of markets: the local market and the luxury market. 

The low-to-mid-range housing market is quite hot, Saretsky said, while the high-end luxury market is still soft.  

"One-bedroom condos are seeing almost all multiple offers," he said. " I think that affordability challenges, at least in the near term, are probably here to stay."

The problem of supply is also affecting Lower Mainland municipalities differently, he says. 

In Vancouver, there is a shortage of condos up for sale, but places like Surrey and Langley still have a lot of supply in comparison. 

He says a lot of new supply will be coming into the market this year, including almost 38,000 condo units.

"We should see new completions hit a record high this year," he said. "That's going to help inventory come to the market, so that's something that I'm watching for."

With files from On The Coast

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