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Vancouver, BC – February 17, 2017The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2017 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 14.1 per cent to 96,345 units this year, after reaching a record 112,209 units in 2016. A moderation trend that began early in 2016, combined with tougher federal government mortgage qualification rules and the foreign buyer tax in Vancouver, is expected to limit consumer demand over the next two years. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 84,700 unit sales.

“Solid fundamentals continue to underpin housing demand in the province," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "International trade, population growth and consumer confidence will be key economic drivers this year." Of note, net migration to the province exceeded 50,000 individuals during the first three quarters of 2016, the highest level since 2008 and a 50 per cent increase from the previous year.

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to decline nearly 5 per cent to $657,000 this year, largely the result of increased consumer demand for multi-family homes and a higher proportion of transactions occurring outside the Metro Vancouver market. While a significant number of new homes are under construction in the province, market conditions will continue to be tilted in favour of home sellers in many regions, while home builders scramble to complete existing projects.

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Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2017The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,487 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, down 23 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $2.79 billion, down 36.5 per cent from January 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $621,093, a 17.5 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

“Housing demand across the province returned to long-term average levels last month," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, regional variations persist, with Victoria posting above average performance and Vancouver falling below the average."

“A marked decrease in the average MLS® residential price is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland," added Muir.

Home sales from Vancouver fell from 43 per cent of provincial transactions in January 2016 to 35 per cent last month. In addition, fewer detached home sales in Vancouver relative to multi-family units has skewed the average price statistic down in the province's largest urban area. In contrast, the MLS® Residential Benchmark Price in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver area has declined 3.7 per cent over the past six months, but is up 15.6 per cent from January 2016.

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Vancouver, BC – April 15, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 12,560 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, up 38 per cent from March of last year. Home sales last month eclipsed the previous record of 11,683 unit sales in May of 2007. Total sales dollar volume was $9.69 billion in March, up 66.9 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 20.2 per cent year-over-year, to $771,620.

 

“Housing demand has never been stronger in the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Most large population centres of the province are now experiencing record levels of housing demand.“

 

“Strong employment growth, rising wages and a marked increase in net inter-provincial migration is fueling consumer confidence,” added Muir.

 

Supply imbalances are becoming increasingly common as new residential listings are not keeping pace with consumer demand. As a result, the inventory of homes for sale is at decade-long lows in many regions.

 

The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 70.1 per cent to $21.59 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 39.2 per cent to 28,028 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 22.2 per cent to $770,408.

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The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is maintaining its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that although first quarter GDP growth appears unexpectedly strong, it believes that strength is temporary and will likely reverse in the second quarter. However, fiscal measures announced in the March federal budget are anticipated to have a notable positive impact on growth. The Bank is now forecasting that the economy will grow 1.7 per cent this year, 2.3 per cent next year and 2 per cent in 2018. That upgrade to growth means the output gap will close sooner than expected, likely in the second half of 2017.  That suggests a return to the Bank's 2 per cent target for inflation along the same time-line.  Overall, the Bank judges risk in the economy as roughly balanced. Interestingly, the Bank did not highlight the housing sector as a risk despite frenzied activity in both Vancouver and Toronto.


A significantly upgraded economic forecast will very likely close the door on further discussion of an impending rate cut, though downside risks in the global economy remain.  Indeed, as the economy accelerates and the output gap closes, we expect the Bank to move to a tightening bias. However, the Bank in unlikely to offset the fiscal stimulus provided by the budget and so an increase in interest rates is still some time away. If economic growth and job creation continue to surprise to the upside, it is possible that the Bank will begin raising rates in late 2017 and we could potentially see a modest rise in mortgage rates toward the end of this year in anticipation of tighter monetary policy.

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SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley real estate hit a historical high in March, setting the record for sales processed in one month since the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s (FVREB) inception in 1921.

 

In March, the FVREB processed 3,006 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), an increase of 62 per cent compared to March 2015 and 26 per cent more then was processed in February. The previous record of 2,720 processed sales was set in March of 1991.

 

Charles Wiebe, President of the Board, said of this month’s statistics, “This market is uncharted territory for Fraser Valley real estate. It’s typical for spring to see a jump in activity; however, March came and went at a break-neck, record-setting pace. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

 

“While I’m certainly encouraged that so many are finding their way to owning a home in the Fraser Valley, I know that it can also be challenging for first-time homebuyers and those looking to transition. Talk to a local REALTOR®, and discuss what you want and what’s possible for you. We can help you get there.”

 

The Board received 4,057 new listings in March, an increase of 31 per cent compared to March of last year, and a 24 per cent increase from February. The total active inventory for March was 5,485, down 33 per cent from last year’s 8,193 active listings.

 

Wiebe commented, “This is typically a busy time of year to buy and sell real estate, and those seeking homes are hungry to purchase. Unfortunately, inventory is struggling to keep up. With that said, if you’re thinking of selling your home, I encourage you to talk to a REALTOR® and consider your current opportunities. The market is in your favor.”

 

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in March 2016 was 17 days, compared to 43 days in March 2015.

 

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in February was $741,000, an increase of 26 per cent compared to March 2015 when it was $588,500.

 

In March, the benchmark price of townhouses was $344,300, an increase of 14.9 per cent compared to $299,700 in March 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 13.8 per cent, going from $190,800 in March 2015 to $217,200 in March 2016.

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Vancouver, BC – March 14, 2016The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,637 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month, up 44.7 per cent from February of last year. This smashed the previous record of 8,157 unit sales for the month of February recorded in 1992. Total sales dollar volume was $7.51 billion in February, up 76.4 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 21.9 per cent year-over-year, to $779,419.

 

“Housing demand is now at a break-neck pace,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Home sales last month were not only a record for the month of February, but on a seasonally adjusted basis, demand has never been stronger in the province.”

 

“Downward pressure on active listings has created significant upward pressure on home prices in some regions, particularly in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” added Muir. “While home builders have responded with a record pace of housing starts for BC last month, the supply isn’t expected alleviate the imbalance in these markets in the near term."

 

The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 73.6 per cent to $11.9 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 40.1 per cent to 15,468 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 23.9 per cent to $769,424.

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SURREY, BC – For the second time in as many months, Fraser Valley real estate saw record-setting monthly sales.

 

In February, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,387 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), an increase of 79 per cent compared to February 2015 and 78 per cent more then was processed in January. To give a historical perspective, sales in February were 46 per cent over the 10-year average for that month; and, 4 per cent higher than the previous record of 1,948 sales in February 1992.

 

Charles Wiebe, President of the Board said of this month’s record numbers, “In my twenty-five years of real estate, I have never seen such consistent demand for housing in the Fraser Valley.”

 

“While it’s certainly encouraging to see such confidence in our region, the intense demand has created a more complex market for buyers. For certain property types, prices have increased and selection is scarce. If you find yourself struggling in your search, consult a professional. We know the market and we’re here to help you.”

 

The Board received 3,283 new listings in February, an increase of 26 per cent compared to February of last year, and another record high for February. The total active inventory for February was 5,127, down 35 per cent from last year’s 7,864 active listings.

 

Wiebe explained, “Inventory is moving fast, so it’s critical that buyers know what they most want in a home and neighborhood, and be open to considering new areas. The Valley features a wide range of diverse housing options, with many areas still very affordable, so talk to your REALTOR® who will help carve a path to suit your needs.”

 

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in February 2016 was 21 days, compared to 41 days in February 2015.

 

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in February was $714,000, an increase of 23 per cent compared to February 2015 when it was $581,400.

 

In February, the benchmark price of townhouses was $337,300, an increase of 13.5 per cent compared to $297,200 in February 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 11.2 per cent, going from $189,700 in February 2015 to $211,000 in February 2016

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Vancouver, BC – Februay 12, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,831 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month, up 33.2 per cent from January of last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.39 billion in January, up 69.1 per cent compared to the previous year.

The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 26.9 per cent year-over-year, to $752,906.

 

“The BC housing market continues to build on momentum from a very strong 2015,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “Heightened demand is being met with the lowest level of supply in a decade, resulting in increased pressure on prices in much of the province.”

 

The housing market has seen a blistering start to 2016, with housing demand supported by low mortgage rates and rising employment and wage growth in the province.

 

However, MLS® residential sales are forecast to edge lower this year. Total MLS® sales last year were the third highest on record at 102,517. A record 106,310 residential unit sales were recorded in 2005, while the only other year eclipsing 2016 were 2007 when 102,805 unit sales were recorded.

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SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley’s real estate market showed no signs of slowing down, producing the strongest sales for January on record.

 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,338 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, an increase of 57 per cent compared to January 2015 and 13 per cent fewer then were processed in December. Sales in January ranked at the top for the last ten years coming in 57 per cent over the 10-year average, and 5 per cent higher than the previous record of 1,270 sales in January 1992.


Jorda Maisey, President of the Board said, “Typically, we see January numbers slow down post-holiday season, but so far demand for Fraser Valley homes hasn’t let up. Homebuyers are reluctant to wait when the market is moving this fast.”

 

“There are a number of factors we can attribute this jump to, but most importantly, we’re seeing that the demand for owning a home continues to rise and inventory is struggling to keep up. Job creation and a strong BC economy are drawing more people to our region; and despite rising prices in some areas, many communities within the Fraser Valley remain affordable.”

 

The Board received 2,510 new listings in January, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to January of last year. The total active inventory for January was 4,790, down 34 per cent from last year’s 7,307 active listings.

 

Maisey explained, “Homeowners may be reluctant to sell because they love their home and where they live. However, for those looking to enter the market and perhaps are waiting for spring, we suggest you and your REALTOR® start planning now. There are a lot of people out there who will want your home.”

 

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in January 2016 was 33 days, compared to 55 days in January 2015.

 

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in January was $691,100, an increase of 20.9 per cent compared to January 2015 when it was $571,700.

 

In January, the benchmark price of townhouses was $334,400, an increase of 13.8 per cent compared to $293,800 in January 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 7.8 per cent, going from $189,500 in January 2015 to $204,300 in January 2016.

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