Greater Vancouver housing market holds steady and favours sellers in May

VANCOUVER, B.C. – June 2, 2011 – Home sales remained at typical springtime levels on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver in May.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 3,377 in May 2011, a 7 per cent increase compared to the 3,156 sales in May 2010 and a 4.7 percent increase compared to the 3,225 sales in April 2011.


Looking back further, last month’s residential sales are 8.1 percent below the ten-year average for sales in May. The three highest selling Mays ever recorded occurred in 2005, 2006 and 2007 when sales exceeded the 4,000 mark each year.


“With a sales to active listings ratio of 23 percent, conditions continue to favour sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market, but activity has eased away from the near record-setting pace we saw in March,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,931 in May 2011. This represents a 15.4 percent decrease compared to May 2010 when 7,014 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, which was the second highest total for May on record. Last month’s new listings increased 1.4 percent compared to April 2011.


At 14,656, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 2 percent in May compared to last month and declined 16 percent from this time last year.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months increased 6.2 percent to $627,568 in May 2011 from $590,662 in May 2010.


“We’re seeing more activity at the high end of our market this year than we did one year ago. This is causing today’s average prices in the region to be less reflective of the total activity occurring in the marketplace,” Setticasi said. “The Housing Price Index benchmark prices are more accurate, reliable indicators of housing prices compared to averages.”


Of all residential properties sold on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver in 2011 to date 21 percent sold for $1-million or higher and 20 percent sold for $350,000 or lower. While 77 percent of the properties that sold for over $1-million were located in West Vancouver, the Westside of Vancouver or Richmond, the properties that sold for $350,000 or lower were located throughout the entire Board area.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in May 2011 reached 1,570, an increase of 25 percent from the 1,256 detached sales recorded in May 2010, and a 12 percent increase from the 1,402 units sold in May 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 10 percent from May 2010 to $890,833.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,228 in May 2011, a 9.3 percent decrease compared to the 1,354 sales in May 2010, and a decrease of 15.8 percent compared to the 1,458 sales in May 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.2 percent from May 2010 to $407,419.


Attached property sales in May 2011 totalled 579, a 6 percent increase compared to the 546 sales in May 2010, and a 12.8 percent decrease from the 664 attached properties sold in May 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 3.5 percent between May 2010 and 2011 to $517,787.
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