The stats are out, and it comes as no surprise to see that July’s busy market continued into August. Though summer can traditionally be a quieter time for home sales, the latest report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows activity that continued to outpace historical averages.
Metro Vancouver’s home sale and listing activity increased sharply in July, but the upward trend began to level out in August. Last month’s home buyer and seller activity was still higher than average but didn’t quite beat July 2020’s record numbers.
“People who put their home buying and selling plans on hold in the spring have been returning to the market throughout the summer,” noted Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair. She went on to caution that it may be difficult to know how long this trend will continue, though. “Like everything else in our lives these days, the uncertainty COVID-19 presents makes it challenging to predict what will happen this fall.”
August 2020 saw 3,047 residential home sales in the Metro Vancouver region. This number represents a 36.6% increase from August 2019 but a slight (2.6%) decrease from July 2020.
Last month’s sales are 19.9% above the 10-year August sales average, continuing the positive upward trend we’ve seen throughout the summer.
August’s Housing Market at a Glance
There were 5,813 homes newly listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in Metro Vancouver in August 2020. This number represents a whopping 55.1% increase compared to the 3,747 homes listed in August 2019, and a 2.3% decrease compared to July 2020’s 5,948 homes listed.
There are now 12,803 homes listed on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® system, a 4.4% decrease compared to August 2019, and a 6% increase compared to July 2020.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio for all property types for August 2020 is 23.8%. By property type, that ratio is 23.7% for detached homes, 30.5% for townhomes, and 21.6% for condos.
Generally, analysts say home prices dip when the ratio falls below 12% for a sustained period. Home prices often rise when the sales-to-active-listings ratio goes above 20% over several months.
“Low interest rates and limited overall supply of homes for sale are creating competition in today’s housing market,” Gerber noted.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,038,700. This price has grown slowly but steadily over the past few months and represents a 5.3% increase over August 2019 and a 0.7% increase compared to July 2020.
Sales by Property Type
There were 1,095 sales of detached homes in August 2020, a 55.1% increase compared to August 2019. The current benchmark price for a detached house is $1,491,300. This price represents a 6.6% increase from August 2019 and a 1% increase compared to July 2020.
Townhouse sales in August 2020 totalled 620, for a 51.6% increase compared to August 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is now $806,400. This price represents a 4.4% increase from last year and a 1.1% increase compared to July 2020.
Finally, there were 1,332 sales of apartment homes in August 2020, a 19.4% increase compared to August 2019. The benchmark price of a condo is now $685,800 — a 4.5% increase compared to August 2019 and a 0.5% increase compared to July 2020.
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