Thursday, 26 March 2015

We are having an Interesting start to 2015

January may have been typically slow in our area but February exploded with a flurry of business that surprised even the optimists among us.  Sales in February were up 43% over the same month last year; 379 vs. 265!  A huge increase!  Also, there were 932 new listings in February this year compared to 839 last year, giving us an active base of just over 2000 listings.  

While the total number of listings is below last year at this time, the rise in new listings in February is encouraging.  Another interesting statistic is “Days on Market” which tells us how long a property took to sell. In February, the Days on Market dropped from 110 days last year to 86 days this year.
The buying activity is strong with a good mix of properties selling across the pricing spectrum.  The strongest growth in sales was in the $400,000 to $479,000 price range (up 68%) with most other price ranges showing sales growth of between 30% and 40% compared to 2014.

While it is still too early to say there will be no impact on the market resulting from the drop in oil prices, we are seeing a healthy start to 2015 which gives support to reasonable optimism.  The U.S. economy continues to show renewed strength with Canada not far behind.  The strength of the U.S. dollar and the weakening Canadian dollar may well be a positive thing for the resource based economy of BC.  As the U.S. grows, so does the demand for our lumber and other exports which is further enhanced by the lower Canadian dollar.  While the lower Canadian dollar is frustrating to those holidaying in the U.S., for our economy, it is a significant benefit.  Flowing from this is the stability of our employment and from that the stability and strength of our real estate market. 
Interest rates are holding at record lows with no real sign of change in the near to mid-range ahead.  Overall, we expect a good year in 2015 with continued growth in the economy resulting in steady buying and selling activity.

Monday, 16 March 2015

BC Housing Demand Remained Elevated in February

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that a total of 6,661 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service in February, up 19.4 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.3 billion, a nice increase of 24.8 per cent compared to last year. The average MLS residential price in the province rose to $639,405, up 4.5 per cent from the same month last year. 

Consumer demand remained robust in February. After several years of below-average activity, home sales are now trending above long-term levels. The total active listings on the market were down 7.5 per cent from a year ago, with fewer homes for sale, combined with elevated consumer demand has the housing market firmly in balanced conditions. 

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 18 per cent to $6.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 12.4 per cent to 11,038 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 5.0 per cent at $621,065.

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