British Columbia

Vancouver-area home sales up 73% year over year, as market shifts in favour of sellers: real estate board

Home sales in the region climbed substantially between January and February and are up more than 70 per cent year-over-year.

Decreasing supply in the region and competition among potential buyers driving prices higher, REBGV says

February's home sales were so strong — 42.8 per cent higher than the month's 10-year sales average — that they're helping the market shift in favour of sellers, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the market is heating up so fast that home sales in the region climbed substantially between January and February and are up by more than 70 per cent since last year.

The board revealed Tuesday that February sales in the B.C. region totalled 3,727, a 73.3 per cent increase from the 2,150 sales recorded the year before and a 56 per cent spike from the 2,389 homes sold the month before.

The month's sales were so strong — 42.8 per cent higher than February's 10-year sales average — that they're helping the market shift in favour of sellers, the REBGV said.

"The supply of listings for sale isn't keeping up with the demand we're seeing,'' said REBGV chair Colette Gerber in a release. "Competition among home buyers is causing multiple offer situations and upward pressure on prices.''

The real estate board said the total number of homes listed for sale during February was 8,358, a 9.1 per cent decrease compared to the 9,195 in the year prior and a 0.6 per cent increase from the month before.

The region also saw 5,048 new listings in February, up from 4,002 the year prior. Townhomes, Gerber said, were experiencing the most pronounced demand in the region.

For all property types, she said, the sales-to-active listings ratio for the month was 44.6 per cent, but townhomes alone had a ratio of 61.8 per cent.

Home prices often experience upward pressure when the ratio surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The sales-to-active listings ratio was about 41 per cent for both detached homes and apartments.

The MLS home price index composite benchmark for Metro Vancouver reached just over $1 million in February, a 6.8 per cent increase from the year before and a 2.6 per cent jump from the prior month. COVID-19 and economic measures were fuelling some of the frenzy, said Gerber.

"Low interest rates remain a key driver in today's market,'' she said. "We're seeing steady numbers of first-time home buyers and move-up buyers entering the market.''

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