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Metro Vancouver housing market off to a quieter start than last year


Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver housing market. This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5% decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1% decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold.

Last month's sales were 10.3% below our 10-year January sales average.

"From a real estate perspectdive, it's a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016," Dan Morrisson, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. "While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017."

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,140 in January 2017. This represents a 6.8% decrease compared to the 4,442 homes listed in January 2016 and a 215.5% increase compared to December 2016 when 1,312 properties were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver is 7,238 a 9.1% increase compared to January 2016 (6,635) and a 14.1% increase compared to December 2016 (6,345).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2017 is 21%. This is the lowest the ratio has been in the region since January 2015. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12% mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.

"Conditions within the market vary depending on property type. The townhome and condominium markets are more active than the detached market at the moment," Morrisson said. "As a result, detached home prices declined over 7% since peaking in July while townhome and condominium prices held steady over the period."

The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $896,000. This represents a 3.7% decline over the past six months and a 0.2% decrease compared to December 2016.

Sales of detached properties in January 2017 reached 444, a decrease of 57.6% from the 1,047 detached sales recorded in January 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,800. This represents a 6.6% decline over the last six months and a 0.6% decrease compared ot December 2016.

Sales of apartment properties reached 825 in January 2017, a decrease of 24.7% compared to the 1,096 sales in January 2016. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $512,300. This represents a 0.3% increase over the last six months and 0.4% increase compared to December 2016.

Attached property sales in January 2017 totalled 254, a decrease of 32.4% compared to the 376 sales in January 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $666,500. This represents a 0.4% decline over the last six months and a 0.7% increase compared to December 2016.

Download the full stats package here.