Metro Vancouver home sales hit all-time record in March: real estate board

VANCOUVER — Home sales and new listings set all-time records across Metro Vancouver last month, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Residential home sales totaled 5,708 in March, up by more than 53 per cent from February and 126 per cent from March 2020, the board said Friday.

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That's the highest-ever monthly sales total recorded in the region stretching from B.C.'s Lower Mainland to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast, it said.

Sales were up more than 72 per cent above the 10-year March average.

Board Chair Taylor Biggar said the surge has pushed price gains into the double digits for single-family homes and townhomes over the last year.

New listings also hit a record last month, he said in a statement, but the overall inventory of homes for sale decreased compared with last year since demand is preventing that supply from accumulating in the market.

"Today's activity can be attributed, in part, to an economy that's showing signs of recovery, historically low interest rates, high demand for space, and increased household savings."

Demand was most pronounced in rural and suburban areas, with the largest increase reported in Delta at 195.8 per cent.

Whistler and Squamish followed with 194.7 and 188.6 per cent increases, respectively, in home sales over last year.

The MLS home price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver hit $1,123,300 in March, a 3.6 per cent increase from February and a 9.4 per cent increase from last March.

The benchmark price for a detached home was $1,700,200, up nearly 18 per cent from last year, while the benchmark price of an attached home was just over $872,000, up 10.4 per cent from March 2020.

The benchmark price for an apartment was close to $716,000, a 3.7 per cent increase from last year.

Prices increased increased across the region, but they vary by community.

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home across communities in the Lower Mainland was $1,508,000, while on the Sunshine Coast the benchmark price drops to $765,000, the board's latest data show.

Benchmarks represent a typical property in each market, the board notes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2021.

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