B.C. residential property sales up nearly 20% in October

Average MLS resale price climbs more than five per cent year over year, pushing dollar volumes up 25.4 per cent

Glacier Media Real Estate
November 14, 2019

real estate
Photo Dan Toulgoet

B.C.’s overall housing market continued the recovery streak of the past few months by posting 7,666 residential property sales in October — a jump of 19.3 per cent over last year, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association’s latest statistics.

The sales total is also 10.9 per cent higher than September this year.

The annual increase in prices from the past two months also seems to be gaining momentum, with the average sale price across the province last month at $724,045, an increase of 5.1 per cent compared with October 2018.

The combination of rising deal volumes and increasing prices pushed October’s total sales dollar volume across B.C. to $5.55 billion, 25.4 per cent higher than one year previously, said the association.

BCREA October 2019 price annual changes
Source: BCREA Economics

“Most markets around the province are returning to a more typical level of sales activity,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s chief economist. “That recovery in sales and slower listings activity is putting upward pressure on prices in many markets.”

The board’s report added that the province’s overall housing market is now moving back towards seller’s market territory. “With sales and listings down, overall market conditions in the province have tightened, with a sales-to-active listings ratio of 21 per cent.” A seller’s market occurs when the ratio is above 20 per cent for a sustained period of several months, so it cannot yet be described as such.

As ever, the province-wide stats hide wide variations in regional markets, with some areas seeing huge jumps in sales compared with very low sales of one year ago, and others posting very different statistics.

BCREA October 2019 regional breakdown
Source: BCREA Economics

The largest sales jump in October was seen in Greater Vancouver, where residential transactions leaped more than 45 per cent year over year. The Fraser Valley also saw a strong month, with sales up 36 per cent from last October.

B.C. Northern, which includes Prince George and Kitimat, saw sales and dollar volume drop more than 15 per cent year over year, after a very busy fall of last year caused in large part by booming economic activity.

The BCREA recently issued a forecast for provincial home sales in 2020, predicting that transactions would be nearly 11 per cent higher next year compared with this year. It also expects the average home sale price to rise by 3.6 per cent across the province, with the highest price jumps expected in the B.C. Northern region.

To read the full BCREA report including regional breakdowns, click here

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, Times Colonist, Prince George Citizen, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also writes and oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condos & Homes, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 23 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist talk radio show on Vancouver's Roundhouse Radio.
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