Metro Vancouver home sales up but prices are slightly down

The big rebound in Lower Mainland real estate sales appears to be over, leaving markets floating along with little movement on prices, according to the latest reports from the region’s real estate boards.

In areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, realtors recorded 2,661 sales through the Multiple Listing Service in October, up 38 per cent from the same month a year ago. However, the benchmark price – the average for typical homes sold across the region – settled at $600,700, a half per cent dip from October 2012.

While sales showed a considerable gain from October 2012, the rebound was not quite as strong as in recent months. September, for example, saw home sales bounce 64 per cent higher than the corresponding month in 2012. In August, sales were 53 per cent above the lacklustre month of August 2012.

“Today’s activity is helping to keep us in balanced market territory,” said board president Sandra Wyant, “which means that prices tend to experience minimal fluctuation.”

The board covers Vancouver and most Metro Vancouver areas west of Surrey and Mission.

Sales for October were 2.8 per cent above the 10-year average for October, while new listings – at 4,322 – were two per cent below the 10-year average for the month.

In the Fraser Valley, which includes Surrey, realtors recorded 1,249 sales in October, an increase of 19 per cent from the same month a year ago. The benchmark price across all properties was $482,951, up 2.3 per cent from October of 2012.

“We’ve had a great summer and good early fall, but it’s important to remind everyone of the context,” said Ron Todson, Fraser Valley Board president. “The last four months of 2012 were amongst the slowest for our real estate market in the last 15 years.”

In the Fraser Valley, the rebound has not been as strong. September sales there were 32 per cent higher than September 2012, while August sales were 17 per cent above the year-earlier period. “What we’re witnessing is a return to a balanced residential market indicated by prices remaining unchanged or down slightly compared to a year ago, stable inventory levels and the average length of time to sell a home is about two months,” Todson said.

By category, detached-home sales in the REBGV were up 35 per cent from October a year ago, with the benchmark price of a typical house sold hitting $922,600, down a half per cent from October 2012.

October condo sales in the REBGV rose about 37 per cent from the same month a year ago. The benchmark average price of $365,000 was 0.9 per cent lower than in October 2012.

Townhouse sales in the REBGV rose 47 per cent from the same month a year ago and the benchmark price was $458,000, little changed from October 2012.

In the Fraser Valley, October detached home sales were up about 10 per cent over the same month a year ago, while the benchmark price was $551,400, up marginally from October 2012.

Fraser Valley condo sales were 38 per cent higher than the previous October and the October benchmark condo price was $199,500, down 2.2 per cent.

Fraser Valley townhome sales were up 33 per cent from the previous October. The benchmark townhouse price hit $295,500, down 0.5 per cent.

Source: Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun

2 Responses to “Metro Vancouver home sales up but prices are slightly down”

  1. Naz Says:

    Wow looks like Fraser Valley is coming up! Great article. Thanks for sharing!

  2. nicola Says:

    You’re right Naz – the Fraser Valley is definitely one of those communities that’s evolving and seeing significant growth figures.

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