Sales are up. Prices are stable in the Fraser Valley but continue to fall in many areas of the Greater Vancouver.
The real estate market in the Lower Mainland started off 2019 with decreasing prices and lower than average sales. High prices and the mortgage stress test were named as the causes for keeping buyers on the side lines. Buyers were also concerned about further decreasing prices and rising interest rates. In the past few months, many economic factors have changed and the Bank of Canada has indicated their overnight rate may remain at 1.75% for the rest of 2019. Banks have also decreased their mortgage rates in the past few months. While Spring is typically the busiest season for real estate transactions, the changes in the lending rates may have added to the increased sales in the past two months. Sales were up significantly in May compared with April, in both the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver markets.
Price point remains the significant factor in determining activity in a market. That price point is different in each area. In Vancouver, west side, detached homes priced under $3.5M were selling at a rate of 24% (which is a sellers market) but in Richmond, Surrey and South Surrey, you only saw a sellers market for detached homes priced under $1,250,000. In North Delta and Abbotsford, detached homes under $900,000 experienced a sellers market in May.
The Spring season began with March posting 26% fewer sales than March 2018, sales picked up in April and posted only 19% fewer sales than April 2018. May sales were higher again with only 13.7% fewer sales than May 2018. There were more active listings on the market because of the fewer sales and listings taking longer to sell. In May, there were 26% more active listings on the market than in May 2018.
The market for townhouses and condos were in sellers markets in May while the market for detached homes was generally balanced with Cloverdale experiencing a sellers market in May and South Surrey in a buyers market for May.
- Single Family Detached: At $964,200, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley remained unchanged compared to April 2019 and decreased 5.9 per cent compared to May 2018.
- Townhomes: At $522,500, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley increased 0.1 per cent compared to April 2019 and decreased 5.9 per cent compared to May 2018.
- Apartments: At $416,800, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.9 per cent compared to April 2019 and decreased 8.0 per cent compared to May 2018.
Sales for May increased 44.2% compared to sales in April. Overall, sales were 22.9% below the 10-year average for the month of May which is a marked improvement from what we have seen in previous months. From Burnaby to Maple Ridge, the market for attached properties was in a sellers market for May. The detached market from Burnaby to Maple Ridge was generally balanced. Moving into Metro Vancouver, North Vancouver experienced a sellers market in May in both the detached and attached market. The rest of the area remains very mixed. Ladner and East Vancouver experienced sellers markets for attached properties while West Vancouver experienced a buyers market for both detached and attached properties. Prices in some areas have continued to drop in the past three months while other areas have shown price increases.
HPI® Benchmark Price Activity
- Single Family Detached: At $1,421,900, the Benchmark price for a single familydetached home decreased 11.5% compared to May 2018 and decreased 0.5% compared to April 2019.
- Townhomes: At $779,400 the Benchmark price for a townhome decreased 7.6% compared to May 2018 and decreased 0.5% compared to April 2019.
- Apartments: At $664,200, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos decreased 7.3% compared to May 2018 and decreased 0.6% compared to April 2019.