Vancouver Sun

Home sales top 5,000 in March

- BETHANY LINDSAY

For the first time in the Vancouver area, more than 5,000 homes have sold in a single month.

A total of 5,173 residentia­l properties were sold in the region in March, marking a 27.4-per-cent increase over March 2015 and a 24-per-cent increase over February 2016, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“March was the highest selling month the REBGV has ever recorded,” board president Dan Morrison said in a news release. “Today’s demand is broad based. Home buyers are active in neighbourh­oods across our region.”

Morrison suggested that migration into Vancouver, low interest rates and economic growth are behind the surge in sales.

A total of 6,278 new listings were recorded on the MLS system in March, and right now 7,358 residentia­l properties are listed for sale. While demand seems to be skyrocketi­ng, the available supply of homes on MLS has declined by 40.5 per cent since the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the benchmark price for all home types across the region sits at $815,000, up 23.2 per cent from a year ago. Detached homes now have a benchmark price of $1.34 million or a whopping $3.07 million on the west side of Vancouver. The benchmark price for a condo was $462,800 in March, compared to $589,100 for attached homes like townhouses.

The real estate board covers Whistler, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminste­r, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminste­r, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board also recorded a new sales high in March, processing 3,006 transactio­ns. That’s a 26-percent increase over the same period in 2015.

“This market is uncharted territory for Fraser Valley real estate. It’s typical for spring to see a jump in activity; however, March came and went at a breakneck, record-setting pace. I’ve never seen anything like it,” board president Charles Wiebe said in a press release.

The Fraser Valley’s previous record of 2,720 residentia­l sales was set in March 1991.

Just like in Vancouver, the valley’s supply of homes for sale has been slipping as demand rises. The total number of listings in the region in March was 5,485, down 33 per cent from a year earlier.

The Fraser Valley board tracks sales in North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.

It’s typical for spring to see a jump in activity; however, March came and went at a breakneck, record-setting pace.

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