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

Enrolment, EA increases make for no surprises in updated school district budget

The budget reflects changes that were made after recieving provincial funds in December

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Manure company causing ‘toxic’ stink at Abbotsford school seeks permit

Property across from King Traditional Elementary cannot operate manure facility without permit

Vancouver city council endorses free transit for youth

Mayor Kennedy Stewart will write a support letter to TransLink

Most Read