what's driving our market?

Demand continues to rise across the Metro Vancouver housing market.

There were 4,060 sales in March.  This is up almost 54% compared to last year and nearly 27% above the 10 year March average.

On the supply side, there were 5,968 homes listed for sale last month.  That is up 13% from last year and about 5% higher than the 10 year March average.

The total number of homes listed for sale today is below what is typical for this time of the year.  All total there are 12, 376 homes for sale on MLS in Metro Vancouver today.  This is down 14.5% compared to last March.

Turning to home prices, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region rose to $660,700.  That is up a little over 7% over the last twelve months.

Detached homes continue to be the most sought-after property.  The benchmark price of a detached home, $1,052,800 increased 11.2% over the last twelve months while townhomes, $484,900 and condominiums, $390,200, increased 5 and 3% respectively.

To help us better understand the strength of today's market we measure homebuyer demand fueled by home sales, 4,060 against home seller supply fueled by the number of home listings, 12, 376.  This measurement today gives us a Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio of 32.8%, March 2015.  This is the highest the ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since July 2007.

Generally analyst say downward pressure on home prices occur when the ratio is below the 12% mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22% range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Wondering how to navigate a strong market today?  Thinking of buying a home today?  Here are a number of things you can do to prepare:
  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.  This avoids unnecessary delays when making an offer and giving you some cost certainty heading into negotiations.
  2. Have any due diligence steps such as a home inspection coordinated and ready to go on a moments notice.
  3. Work with your realtor as when competition is high home buyers have less time to make decisions.  Your realtor is your trusted adviser to safely navigate each step of the process.  In a multiple offer situation you are best protected by having professional representation to counsel and guide you through the critical stages.
This is how opportunities are realized and mistakes are averted.

(Source: REBGV & Photo: June Conway)