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Blog by Graham Kirby

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Demand remains steady and low inventory helps home sellers

Home buyer demand remained steady in February with relatively low inventories helping sellers.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region saw a 44.9 per cent increase from February 2019, and a 36.9 per cent increase from January 2020.


To keep these impressive numbers in context, sales were still 15.6 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.


“Home buyer demand again saw strong year-over-year increases in February while the total inventory of homes for sale struggled to keep pace,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “This was most pronounced in the condominium market.”


Detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in February 2020 increased 2.8 per cent compared to February 2019 and 3.4 per cent compared to January 2020.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 20.7 per cent less than February 2019 and a 6.7 per cent increase compared to January 2020.


"Our Realtors are reporting increased traffic at open houses and multiple offer scenarios in certain pockets of the market. If you’re considering listing your home for sale, now is a good time to act with increased demand, reduced competition from other sellers, and some upward pressure on prices," says Smith.


That said, Buyers can still take advantage of the decrease in values we have experienced in the last couple of years and the historically low interest rates bought on by the Covid 19 and oil price war crisis as we appear to be at the beginning of an upward trend in prices.  


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2020 is 23.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 17.3 per cent for detached homes, 26.9 per cent for townhomes, and 28.4 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver has seen an increase of 0.3 per cent over February 2019 and a 2.7 per cent increase over the past six months.


Sales of detached homes in February 2020 saw a 52.9 per cent increase from detached sales recorded in February 2019. The benchmark price for a detached homes saw a decrease of 0.7 per cent from February 2019 and a 1.9 per cent increase over the past six months.


Sales of apartment homes in February saw a 39.8 per cent increase compared to February 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 0.9 per cent from February 2019 and increased 3.6 per cent over the past six months.


Most importantly we are presently experiencing a global crisis the likes of which we have never seen before in our lifetime. I wish everyone well during this difficult time.