Residential real estate sales in Metro Vancouver dropped significantly in February, according to statistics from The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). According to the release, Metro Vancouver home sales totalled at 2,495, compared to 4,172 in February last year. That’s a whopping 41.9% decline! That’s also 7.7% below the 10 year February sales average.
The number of new listings in the area also dropped significantly. Listings registered in February were down 36.9% compared to last year.
While the seemingly endless shortage of affordable housing naturally played a large part in this decline, REBGV president Dan Morrison also offered another possible explanation: The weather.
This past February was much colder and snowier than we’re used to, which Morrison suggests may have played a part in the decline in sales activity. After all, it sounds much nicer to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and some Netflix than trudge through the snow to look at houses.
Interestingly, there are more properties on the market now than there were this time last year. Currently there are 7,594 homes listed for sale, slightly more than 7,299 in February last year.
It’s also interesting to note that the average price of a typical property in Metro Vancouver has actually decreased over the past six months. The benchmark price of all residential properties in the area is down 2%, or an average of $906,700. Let’s break that down a little. With the sales of detached homes down significantly from last year, the price of these homes fell to $1,474,000, or a decline of 6.5%.
So what does it all mean? Morrison explains that, “While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand. This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets.”