April 2018 Market Update
Sales of single-family homes in the VIREB area rose by 20 per cent month over month in April but remained static from one year ago.
Last month, 476 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 398 in March and 476 one year ago. The number of apartments changing hands in April decreased by six per cent year over year while townhouse sales rose by 26 per cent.
VIREB’s inventory of single-family homes climbed by eight per cent from March 2018 but decreased by six per cent from one year ago. The supply of apartments dropped in April, down 12 per cent from one year ago, but townhouse inventory rose by 30 per cent.
In April 2018, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $499,600, up 18 per cent from one year ago. The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $305,300, up 25 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $393,200, a 22 per cent increase from April 2017.
B.C. Home Sales Dip After Strong December
BCREA reports that provincial MLS® Systems recorded 5,306 residential unit sales in January, an increase of 18.3 per cent from one year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, B.C. home sales dipped 10 per cent from December to January.
Total sales dollar volume hit $3.83 billion, a 37.4 per cent increase from January 2017. The average MLS® residential price was $721,477 last month, up 16.2 per cent from the previous year.
Compared to January 2017, market conditions tightened in all B.C. board areas except Victoria, where the sales-to-active-listings ratio declined from 46.3 per cent to 40.5 per cent. Despite this decline, the Victoria area remains a strong sellers’ market. Total active listings in the province dipped 8.6 per cent from last year.
December 2017 Mortgage Rate Forecast
Canadian mortgage rates rose substantially in 2017 and are forecast to rise further in 2018. After beginning the year at or near historical lows for both the qualifying rate as well as 5-year contract rates, an acceleration of economic growth prompted a shift at the Bank of Canada and a withdrawal of stimulus implemented to help the economy absorb the oil-shock of 2015.
October 2017 Market Update
In October 2017, 460 single-family properties sold on the MLS® System compared to 398 last October, an increase of 16 per centt. Month over month, single-family home sales dipped by 10 per cent from September. This decline is likely the result of ongoing inventory challenges, however, not a cooling market.
Although the supply of single-family homes has been increasing each month since VIREB hit its historic low of 859 in December 2016, inventory decreased in October, dropping to 1,138, down two per cent from last year and eight per cent from September.
BCREA reports that the housing market in B.C., particularly in the southern half of the province, continues to thrive due to strong economic fundamentals. Government policy decisions, including slightly higher interest rates and the new mortgage stress test, could affect the housing market, but it's too early to say in what way.
These attempts to temper rising home prices – aimed mainly at overheated markets in Vancouver and Toronto – will likely be counterbalanced by demographic factors, such as baby boomers entering their retirement years, millennials purchasing their first homes, and interprovincial migration.
In the VIREB area, the October 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home rose to $463,800, up 17 per cent from one year ago. Apartments and townhouses also recorded higher benchmark prices board-wide in October, up 28 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.