February 12, 2016
Sales across province rise 33 per cent in January as sales dollar volume soars 69 per cent, reports association
BC home sales in 2016 got off to a “blistering start”, according to a BC Real Estate Association report on January’s statistics, issued February 12.
There were a total of 5,831 residential unit sales recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province last month, a rise of 33.2 per cent over January 2015.
BC’s total home sales dollar volume in January was $$4.39 billion in January, up 69.1 per cent compared with the same month last year – a rate of growth that has been accelerating for many months. This increasing growth rate reflects the combination of both growing total transactions and the average MLS® home price in BC rising in January to $752,906, up 26.9 per cent from January 2015.
“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.”
However, just like in previous months, the BC figures mask the massive variations between home sales and price movement in different markets across the province, with the major southern regions seeing huge increases in sales and dollar volumes, and some of the smaller regions declining, particularly in the north and Interior of the province.
Of the larger markets, the largest increase in sales was again recorded in the Fraser Valley, where home sales climbed more than 58 per cent from January 2015. However, unlike previous months, Greater Vancouver and Chilliwack were both beaten by strong transaction increases recorded by Victoria and Vancouver Island, rising 52.9 and 34.7 per cent respectively.
The Fraser Valley for the first time in many months over took Greater Vancouver’s sales-to-active-listings ratio as the province’s highest, at 35.1 per cent, meaning that is the region that is deepest into sellers’ market territory.
The Northern Lights region yet again recorded the biggest annual decline in unit sales, down nearly 28 per cent year over year, with dollar volumes falling even more as prices drop. The BC Northern and Kootenay real estate boards all also posted declines in sales and dollar volumes.
BC Northern, Kamloops, Kootenay, South Okanagan and Northern Lights all recorded year-over-year price declines, the largest in the Northern Lights region at 11 per cent. Greater Vancouver was the region to see the biggest price increase, at 30.9 per cent.
To read the full BCREA report, click here.