Vancouver, BC – February 2008. British Columbia Real Estate Association reports residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service in BC climbed 8.8 per cent to $2.25 billion in January, compared to the same month last year. Residential unit sales dipped 5 per cent to 4,949 units during the same period. The average MLS residential price in the province reached $453,648 in January, up 14.5 per cent from January 2007.
BC home sales edged down in January for the first time in nine months! The combination of fewer home sales and an increase in active listings is pulling the BC housing market toward balanced conditions. This means upward pressure on home prices is less severe than a year ago.
While unit sales are no longer breaking records, they still reflect strong consumer demand for housing. The 4,949 units sold last month in the province were well above the ten-year average of 4,230 units for the month of January. The provincial economy is continuing its expansionary phase. While weak demand for BC lumber and exchange rate parity with the US is negatively impacting some resource-dependent communities, strong employment growth and rising wages in other sectors are helping to under pin housing demand in the province.
More specifically what does this mean for the Vancouver Market? Demand is still strong; however buyers are taking their time in ensuring value for their investment dollars. There are great opportunities for Buyers in the downtown core on newer construction. In my experience there are at least one or two Sellers that want to be the first out of the investment, which translates into a terrific Buyer’s opportunity.