March 2017 Housing Market Update

President Jill Oudil gives a quick review of the March housing market. She also looks at the difference in supply and demand conditions between property types.

 Jill Oudil | President, REBGV

"A lack of new listings, coupled with strong demand for condos and townhomes impacted Metro Vancouver's housing market in March. To understand what's going on, let's look at four key indicators:


The first is home sales. REALTOR® registered 3,579 sales on our MLS in March. This is down over 30% from the record-breaking March of last year, and is about 8% above the 10-year average.


The second indicator is home listings that supply the housing market demand. The number of homes for sale in our region was nearly 7,600 homes last month. That's nearly unchanged from February and is roughly 3% higher than this time last year. New listings continue to be well below our 10-year average.


The third key indicator is home prices. The benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is $919,000. This is up about 1% over last month.


To understand the relationship between supply and demand in our market, we look to our fourth indicator: the sales-to-active-listing ratio. The ratio today is 47%. This is up from 32% reported last month. The change is mostly due to the increase demand for townhomes and condos. Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio dips below the 12% mark for a sustained period. While home prices can experience upward pressure when it surpasses the 20% mark over several months. 


This brings us to our REALTOR® View segment. This month we are looking at the difference in supply and demand conditions between property types. 

Vancouver's housing market is really a tale of two markets. Compared to the record-breaking March of last year, nearly half as many single family homes were sold this year. When looking at condominiums however, the difference is only 18%.

This means the sales-to-active-listing ratio looks much different for each of these housing types. Single-family homes are currently sitting at about 25%, while condos are at 83%. The strong demand combined with low supply creates the condition for price increases.

We can see this in the HPI [House Price Index] numbers for this month. Single-family home prices are about 5% below where they were six months ago, while condo prices are about 5% above. Home prices especially among townhomes and condos will likely continue to increase until we see more new listings coming onto the market.

To best understand the factors affecting prices in a changing market, it's important to talk to your local REALTOR®. For further housing market information, go to the "News + Statistics" section of From the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, I'm Jill Oudil."

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