Metro Vancouver home sales beat average in fourth quarter

by Steve Randall on 06 Jan 2020

Last year’s home sales in Metro Vancouver ended below average as homebuyer confidence kept many on the sidelines early in the year.

But the last quarter of 2019 showed positive signs as rising sentiment seen since the summer translated into above average home sales according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“We didn’t see typical seasonal patterns in 2019. Home buyer demand was quieter in the normally busy spring season and it picked up in the second half of the year,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “In terms of home values, prices dipped between two and four per cent across the region last year depending on property type.”

Total sales in 2019 of 25,351 was 3% above 2018’s total but was 29.6% below 2017’s total.

Meanwhile, there was a 3.2% decrease in home listings on the region’s MLS compared to a year earlier. The 51,918 total was also 7.6% below the 10-year average.

The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ended the year at $1,001,000, 3.1% below that of December 2018.

The benchmark price of apartments decreased 2.7% in 2019 with the benchmark for townhomes down 2.4% and detached homes down 4%.

“Home buyer confidence was a factor throughout the year. In the first quarter, many prospective buyers were in a holding pattern, waiting to see how prices would react to the mortgage stress test, new taxes, and other policy changes,” Smith said. “Confidence started to return in the summer, and we saw above average sales in the final quarter of 2019.”

REBGV reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,016 in December 2019, an 88.1% increase from the 1,072 sales recorded in December 2018, and a 19.3% decrease from the 2,498 homes sold in November 2019.

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