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Home sales in B.C. hit a new record in March, as housing demand soars

Blog by steve shields | April 17th, 2016

The British Columbia Real Estate Association reported Friday that there were 12,560 residential unit sales last month on the MLS, up 38 per cent from March of last year.

Home sales last month eclipsed the previous record of 11,683 sales in May of 2007, the association said, adding that sales were up $9.69 billion, or 66.9 per cent compared to the previous year.

The average MLS residential price in B.C. was up 20.2 per cent year-over-year, to $771,620.

The association’s chief economist Cameron Muir said, in a statement Friday, that employment growth, rising wages and a marked increase in net inter-provincial migration is fuelling consumer confidence.

“Housing demand has never been stronger in the province,” he said. “Most large population centres of the province are now experiencing record levels of housing demand.”
Supply imbalances are becoming increasingly common as new residential listings are not keeping pace with consumer demand. As a result, Muir said the inventory of homes for sale is at “decade-long lows” in many regions.
“The provincial totals are heavily weighed by the Metro Vancouver marketplace,” said Muir, adding that there are also supply imbalances in most of the southern half of the province.
Chilliwack home sales, for example, were up 104 per cent, which was double over last March. Sales were up 66 per cent in the Fraser Valley, 51 per cent in Victoria, and 30 per cent on Vancouver Island.
In Metro Vancouver, 5,301 units sold last month, up 28.3 per cent over last March, driven mostly by sales of multi-family units. The average price of a home in the region jumped 22.6 per cent to $1,093,267.
Muir said there’s been a real spike in consumer confidence as wages rise and B.C. enjoys a strong economy. He added that migration from other provinces is also on an upswing.
He anticipated that the spring sales boom won’t last, and that there will likely be fewer sales in the fall.