Vancouver housing market heats up

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Emma Crawford Hampel
Van. Courier

The number of homes being sold in Greater Vancouver continues to grow while prices are also creeping upward, according to Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data released April 15.

A total of 3,572 homes changed hands in March, which is up 4.5 per cent compared with a month prior.

The average home sold for $870,207 in the month — an increase of 3.1 per cent compared with February.

Nationally, the average home sale price was $431,276 — less than half of Vancouver’s average. The Fraser Valley had an average sale price of $554,521, followed by Victoria at $506,899. The highest home sale price outside of Vancouver was found in Greater Toronto, at $601,454.

Nationwide, 40,670 homes were sold in March, which represents an increase of 4.1 per cent for the month. 

“Greater Vancouver and the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] are really the only two hot spots for home sales and prices in Canada,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said. “Price gains in these two markets are being fuelled by a shortage of single family homes for sale in the face of strong demand.

“Meanwhile, supply and demand for homes is well balanced among the vast majority of housing markets elsewhere across Canada.”

Robert Hogue, RBC senior economist, reiterated the fact that Toronto and Vancouver are leading the country, and pointed out that Vancouver is particularly hot.

“Toronto and Vancouver remain the most vibrant markets in the country — in fact, Vancouver is heating up quite rapidly at this stage — whereas the level of activity in the vast majority of other markets is still subdued,” Hogue said.

In 2015’s first quarter, the total dollar volume of all homes in Greater Vancouver soared 38 per cent — the highest rate of growth in the country — when compared with the same period last year. In the three months to March $8.6 billion worth of homes were sold, compared with $6.2 billion in Q1 2014.

All CREA numbers are seasonally adjusted and compiled from select MLS systems from across the country, including the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

Royal LePage also released its data for the quarter April 15. The real estate company pointed out that it is detached homes and standard two-storey residences that are leading Vancouver’s price growth with double-digit increases compared to the same period last year. The average detached home sold for $1,174,509 in the quarter — an increase of 10.6 per cent — and the average two-storey home price was $1,267,287, up 10.3 per cent.

The Royal LePage House Price Survey is based on the organization’s opinions of fair market value based on local market knowledge of residential real estate experts.

The data from both the CREA and Royal LePage differs from the information released yesterday by Teranet, which uses figures compiled from “repeat sales methodology” statistics. This involves examining an aggregation of home value changes for homes that have been sold multiple times in a particular time frame.

© 2015 Vancouver Courier


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