Apartment sales driving Lower Mainland housing market

Buyers across the region appear to be buying ahead of new mortgage requirements in January

Vancouver and the Fraser Valley both experienced above-average home sales last month, according to local real estate board figures, as buyers try to get ahead of the new mortgage requirements in January.

Vancouver area home sales jumped 7.1 per cent from September to October with 3,022 properties sold, and 35.2 per cent from the same month last year, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The federal government’s plans to tighten mortgage requirements for the seventh time in eight years helped spur short-term activity, said the REBGV president Jill Oudil in a statement.

“We have definitely seen some spur in activity, likely for any buyers that are wanting to make sure they jump in before the change in the rules,” she said.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions will implement new lending guidelines at the beginning of next year. Among the changes being considered is a requirement that homebuyers who do not require mortgage insurance still have to show they can make their payments if interest rates rise.

READ MORE: Vancouver home prices may have seen ‘final hurrah,’ Royal LePage says

WATCH: Investing vs. paying down a mortgage

Additionally, some buyers may be trying to beat any further Bank of Canada interest rates hikes, Oudil said.

The average selling price for a home in Vancouver last month was $1,042,300 — up half a per cent from September and 12.4 per cent from the same time last year, according to the Vancouver board.

The Fraser Valley saw a similar increase in average home prices to those in Vancouver. Average home prices were $971,900, last month – up 11.8 per cent compared to October 2016.

Price growth in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver was driven by appreciation in townhomes and condos.

READ MORE: Chilliwack the last bastion of housing affordability in the Lower Mainland

In the Fraser Valley, the divide between selling prices of attached and detached markets continues to widen, according to Gopal Sahota, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The average selling price for apartments was $369,400 – an increase of 36.4 per cent compared to October of last year.

“Apartment activity was notably strong in October, with a sales-to-actives ratio of 105 per cent, meaning that apartments are selling as fast as we can list them,” Sahota said in a statement.

In the Vancouver area, the benchmark price of a condo rose to $642,000 in October. That’s up one per cent from the previous month and 22.7 per cent from Oct. 2016. The townhouse price jumped to $802,400 — up two per cent from September and 17.7 per cent from the same month last year.

Oudil attributes that to high demand with limited supply, as well as shifting preferences for smaller yards because of hectic lives.

Chilliwack sales also continue to climb

Sales in Chilliwack were up 27.7 per cent in October year over year, according to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB).

There were 350 sales in the CADREB area up from 274 October 2016.

Prices, too, continue to climb with the median sale prices at $535,000 up 20.2 per cent from $445,000 a year ago.

With files from Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Chilliwack teen to take on the world after winning Canadian junior dog-handling national championship

Chilliwack’s Kayla Penney is heading to Crufts to compete for her first international title

Country talent Petunia returns to Bozzini’s in Chilliwack Saturday

Petunia, performing Nov. 17, is referred to as ‘The Savior of Country Music’

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

Most Read