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Metro Vancouver residential sales unexpectedly leap 23.5%: board

Fraser Valley also sees real estate transactions recover in July to near-average levels
REBGV sales graph July 2019

Metro Vancouver residential sales took an unexpected leap in July, making the month the second- month for resale activity so far this year and defying the usual summer lull.

There were total 2,547 home sales across the region last month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which is a 23.5 per cent increase over the same month last year. It’s also a 23.1 per cent over June 2019’s transactions.

July’s sales were still 7.8 per cent below the 10-year July sales average. But that’s a notable improvement from previous recent months, some of which saw activity slumping more than 40 per cent below the 10-year average.

“While home sale activity remains below long-term averages, we saw an increase in sales in July compared to the less active spring we experienced,” said Ashley Smith, REBGV president. “Those looking to buy today continue to benefit from low interest rates, increased selection, and reduced prices compared to the heated market a few years ago.”

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The sales-to-active listings ratio for the region in July 2019 was 18 per cent, which is a stronger market than the previous month but does not yet indicate a recovery. By property type, the ratio is 13.5 per cent for detached homes (moving back towards a balanced market from a buyer’s market), 20 per cent for townhomes and 22 per cent for apartments (both moving back towards seller’s markets).

Benchmark prices continued to slip, with the price of a typical Metro Vancouver home (all property types combined) now at $995,200. This is a 9.4 per cent decrease over July 2018 and a 0.3 per cent decrease from June 2019. Price trends in the condo and townhome sectors seem to have caught up with the detached sector, with all three home types seeing similar month-over-month and year-over-year price declines.

Meanwhile, in the Fraser Valley, there were 1,458 sales of all property types in July, including commercial and industrial. This is an 11.6 per cent increase compared with real estate sales in June 2019, and a 13 per cent increase compared with the 1,290 sales in July of last year, reported the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

Chris Shields, president-elect of the board, observed, “We’ve been expecting market improvement, but didn’t quite anticipate July’s momentum. We’ve gone from the worst June in almost 20 years to a July that’s only slightly below the 10-year average. For both buyers and sellers, a return to an active, more balanced market is welcome news.”

Home prices vary widely in different areas throughout the region. To get a good idea of home prices in a specific Metro Vancouver location and by property type, check the detailed MLS® Home Price Index in the full REBGV stats package.

For a breakdown of Fraser Valley real estate sales and prices, go to the full FVREB stats package.