January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off with sales up over this time last year, and well above the five-year average, while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.
Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of Canadian households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory.
British Columbia – BC home sales post record year
Vancouver, January 13, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in 2016, an increase of 9.5% from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8% from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6% to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.
"Broad-based consumer demand driven by strong economic conditions, employment growth, consumer confidence, and an expanding population base pushed home sales to record levels in many BC regions last year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, home sales have fallen back from their lofty peaks early last year." The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales activity was approximately 92,000 units in December.
A total of 4,721 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in December, down 28.4% from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.1 billion last month, a decline of 33.1% compared to the same month the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $654,699 in December, a 6.6% decline from December 2015.