Climbing home prices and tighter mortgage rules are closing doors to the real estate market for some new homebuyers, contributing to a near 15 per cent year-over-year decline last month in Canadian home sales.
The national average home price rose by eight (8%) per cent in April even as housing sales fell by 14.7 per cent from the year before, according to data released Tuesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. This is a good indicator of how the market is performing. The bulk of the listings as well as sales still continue to come from the lower mainland of BC.
We have now listed over 320 properties and of course while we see a good mix of properties being listed from all over British Columbia but the market is really sizzling when it comes to higher end homes. A boom in sales of multi-million dollar properties, largely in the Greater Vancouver area, has been skewing the average home price upward in recent months. Average home prices in British Columbia were up 16 per cent, double the national average — sending the country-wide average higher as well.
The market is holding steady on Vancouver Island, the interior and the north. We have seen some sales going through outside the lower mainland but most of the properties seem to be selling in the lower mainland.
The number of months it would take to sell all of the listings on the MLS, another measure of supply and demand, was up to six months in April, up from 5.7 months in March. Saying that, we had a property that did not even make it to the MLS system. The property had a sign up and the client sold it within 4 hours and by the following day we had 4 multiple offers. The address of this property is 9791 129th St in Surrey.
Housing starts — another key indicator of demand for homes — were slower than expected in April, largely due to a decline in construction on multi-unit buildings such as apartments and condos. That was much weaker than economists had been expecting, as construction activity usually picks up in the spring.
A drop in housing starts and sales of previously occupied homes had been widely anticipated. However, the expected drop in home sales across Canada this year will be less than previously forecast because of stronger sales of mega-homes in British Columbia in the first quarter, the Canadian Real Estate Association said earlier this month.
CREA now expects that unit sales for 2011 will dip 1.3 per cent to 441,100, less than the 1.6 per cent decline it forecast in February.
If you are in the market to sell your property, now is definitely a good time. With more sunny days ahead, your home will show the best now and we at OneFlatFee.ca are committed to providing you with exceptional service and unsurpassed value.