March’s Residential Housing Market at a Glance
Spring is a time for new growth, and it seems that home sales throughout the Metro Vancouver* housing market were also making a stronger than expected spring showing.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that the residential home sales in the region totalled 2,535^ last month, up 727 over February the month prior. Although back on the rise, sales are sitting 28.4% below the 10-year seasonal average (3,540).
The Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Home Price Index composite benchmark for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,143,900. This represents a 9.5% decrease over March last year, but a 1.8% increase compared to February just been.
Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analysis at the REBGV commented on March activity saying, “On the pricing side, the spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about one to two per cent across all product types. The surprising part of this recent activity is that these price increases are occurring against a backdrop of elevated borrowing costs, below-average sales, and new listing activity that continues to suggest that sellers are awaiting more favourable market conditions.”
The Market in More Detail
Although March data tells us that home prices across the region were showing modest increases in March, new listings remained below long-term historical averages.
There were 4,317 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS® last month across Metro Vancouver. These figures indicate a 35.5% drop compared to the 6,690 homes listed in March 2022 and come in at 22.3% below the 10-year seasonal average (5,553).
However, when looking at the total number of homes available, the MLS® recorded 8,617 last month – a jump up by 8.1% over total listings in March last year (7,970), but still down on the 10-year seasonal average (10,421).
Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio and Composite Benchmark Price
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for March was 30.7%. By property type, that ratio came out as:
Detached homes: 23.3%
Analysis of historical data suggests downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
Lis goes on to add, “If home sellers remain on the sidelines, monthly MLS® sales figures will continue to appear lower than historical averages as we move toward summer. But it’s important to recognize the chicken-and-egg nature of these statistics. The number of sales in any given month is partially determined by the number of homes that come to market that month, along with the inventory of unsold homes listed in previous months. With fewer homes coming on the market, homes sales will remain lower than we’re accustomed to seeing at this point in the year, almost entirely by definition.”
Metro Vancouver Home Sales by Property Type
Sales of detached homes last month reached 734. 43.6% less than the 1,302 detached sales recorded in March 2022. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,861,800. This represents an 11.2% decrease from last year, but a 2.7% rise compared to February just been.
Sales of apartment homes reached 1,311 in March. 43.2% less than the 2,310 sales in March one year prior. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $737,400. This represents a 4.6% drop from March last year, but a 0.7% increase compared to February this year.
Attached home sales last month totalled 466. Down 37.3% compared to the 743 sales in March 2022. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $1,056,400. This represents a 7.8% decrease from March last year, but a 1.7% increase compared to February just been.