March Vancouver Home Sales See Slight Recovery

Vancouverites appear to be warming back up to the housing market, as February numbers show sales are on an uptick, outpacing supply.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reveals some recovery for home sales – which fell a drastic 39% over the course of a year in January – continue to outpace supply, and are up a robust 47.6% (3,579 homes) from February activity.

While still well below last year’s record breaking numbers by 30.8%, sales have edged above the 10-year average by 7.9%.

Jill Oudil, REBGV president, says that sellers still seem hesitant to list their properties, which is contributing to tighter conditions for buyers.

“While demand in March was below the record high of last year, we saw demand increase month to month for condos and townhomes,” she said. “Sellers still seem reluctant to put their homes on the market, making for stiff competition for buyers.”

Detached home sale prices rose to an average of $1,489,499, condos to $537,400, and townhouses to $685,100.

Supply of Homes Still Scarce

The number of new homes listed for sale in Vancouver was down 24.1% from last year, with only 4,762 coming to market in March, though is still a slight improvement from 3,666 listed in February – a low not seen since 2009.

Oudil adds that prices will continue to rise as long as listings remain scarce. “Home prices will likely continue to increase until we see more housing supply coming on to the market,” she said.”

The average home price index rose 1.4% month over month to $919,300.

The Effect of Foreign Buyer Tax of March Vancouver Home Sales

The market has been grappling with the outcome of the foreign buyer tax, which charges an additional 15% on top of a home purchase price for out-of-country buyers without job permits, permanent residency, or citizenship. Home sales – especially in the luxury detached segment – tumbled dramatically after the tax was introduced in August 2016, by 44.6% from the year prior, and prices down 5% over the last six months to $1,489,400.

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa, and has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics. Her commentary on the housing market is frequently featured on both national and local media outlets including BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Toronto Star, National Post, and The Huffington Post. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods, travelling abroad, or in the dance studio.

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