Although May saw a continuation of the slow down in home sales in the region compared to March, the market is still extremely busy as you will see in the market report below. A big reason for the demand which I have discussed in previous newsletters is the record low interest rates coupled with the housing shortage we are faced with in the lower mainland. The seller’s market conditions experienced throughout much of the pandemic highlight the need for increasing the volume, and variety of housing supply across our region. Doing this requires a more disciplined focus on planning, reducing building costs, understanding demographic changes, and expediting the building approval process.
Too Long, Didn't Read:
Sales of apartments up 213 percent over May 2020
Metro Vancouver saw a 187.4 percent increase in total home sales over May 2020.
The housing market still remains firmly in seller’s territory.
Before we get into the monthly stats for March though, let’s take a moment to see what is happening in and around Vancouver this month.
Vancouver Events This Month
The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour
Follow the lamplight of your guide into Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history. You’ll step inside a world of murder, revenge, and true grit in a dramatic retelling of Victorian Gastown’s earliest stories. Tales of deadly fire and smallpox emerge from the shadows as you venture through cobblestone streets to the shocking finale in this unique performance theatre experience.
Stanley Park Train
The Stanley Park Train is back! Take a train trip through Stanley Park and discover fun facts about the resident wildlife and the park’s history. Younger riders can even earn a Junior Urban Forest Ranger button by asking for the quiz at the Ticket Booth before boarding the train and completing it during the journey. I know I will certainly be taking my two-year-old on this for the first time this year!
Ambleside Artisan Farmer’s Market
A great variety of organic and conventional farmers at this location. We also have a good selection of prepared foods including baking, syrups, jams, jellies, honey, salsas, anti-pastas, and much more. We also have a good and varied selection of B.C. crafts including jewelry, clothing, wrought iron, garden sculptures, soaps, pottery, and much more.
Monthly Market Report
The Metro Vancouver housing market saw steady home sale and listing activity in May, a shift back from the record-breaking activity seen in the earlier spring months. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential home sales in the region totaled 4,268 in May 2021, a 187.4 per cent increase from the 1,485 sales recorded in May 2020, and a 13 per cent decrease from the 4,908 homes sold in April 2021.
Last month’s sales were 27.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average. While home sale and listing activity remained above the long-term averages in May, conditions moved back from the record-setting pace experienced throughout Metro Vancouver in March and April of this year. With a little less intensity in the market today than we saw earlier in the spring, home sellers need to ensure they’re working with their realtor to price their homes based on current market conditions.
There were 7,125 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service in Metro Vancouver in May 2021. This represents a 93.4 per cent increase compared to the 3,684 homes listed in May 2020 and a 10.2 per cent decrease compared to April 2021 when 7,938 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,970, a 10.5 per cent increase compared to May 2020 (9,927) and a 7.1 per cent increase compared to April 2021 (10,245).
With sales easing down from record peaks, a revised mortgage stress test that reduces the maximum borrowing amounts by approximately 4.5 per cent, and the average five-year fixed mortgage rates climbing back over two per cent since the beginning of 2021, we’ll pay close attention to these factors leading into the summer to understand what effect they’ll have on the current market cycle.
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2021 is 38.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 29.8 per cent for detached homes, 53.8 per cent for townhomes, and 43.5 per cent for apartments.
It has been a busy month and I have had many people email and call me over the last several weeks with all sorts of questions. If you have a question you would like me to answer please reach out to me any time. With the pandemic hopefully behind us by September, I expect the housing market to continue to be busy into the Summer. If you are thinking about listing your property and would like to know the market value of your house please get in touch with me, there is no cost involved so I would encourage you to do so.