Recent increase in home buyer demand has put Greater Vancouver in the upper reaches of a balanced housing market. “Based on MLS® activity, it appears that today’s market is stronger than at any point over the last three years,” Ray Harris, Board president said.
Balanced market conditions typically occur when this ratio sits between 10 and 20 per cent for an extended period of time, while seller’s market conditions occur when the ratio sits above 20 per cent for an extended period of time.The sales-to-active listings ratio for all residential properties in the region exceeded 20 per cent for the first time since June of 2011.
“Our market today sits on the cusp between a balanced and seller’s market,” Harris said.
In terms of home prices, we’ve seen a gradual increase in prices of around 6 per cent over the last 18 months.
The MLS® HPI for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver hit a peak of $625,100 in May of 2012. After declining to $588,100 in January 2013, prices have almost returned to the 2012 peak. The benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $624,000.
Prices for detached homes have followed a similar pattern in Greater Vancouver. The benchmark price for a detached home is currently $966,500. This is $1,000 less than the 2012 peak. The benchmark price dipped as low as $901,000 in 2013.
While townhouse and apartment properties have experienced less fluctuation in price over the last two years, both figures are just below their 2012 highs.
When a market begins to strengthen, the focus often shifts to inventory. Are there enough quality listings to sustain the growing demand? Conversely, will the market be flooded with listings if prices begin to rise at a steadier pace?
“Home listing stats will be interesting to observe over the next three to six months,” Harris said.
The number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® so far this year has followed a similar pattern to last year. There’ve been over 27,200 listings entered on the MLS® in 2014, up three per cent from the 26,380 new listings through this time last year.
The total number of active listings on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver has increased for five consecutive months. Our active listing count sat at 16,072 at the end of May, which was a 6.7 per cent decline compared to May 2013 and a 3.6 per cent increase compared to April 2014.
“While we can’t predict the future, the signs we’ve seen from the market so far this year indicate that it’s our strongest start to the year since 2011,” Harris said. “It’s a good sign as we move into the second half of 2014.”