Potential home buyers lining up in Maple Ridge last weekend. (Contributed)

Signs of recovery in real estate industry

Buyers lining up in Maple Ridge, summer sales close to normal

Potential home buyers were lining up in Maple Ridge last week, in a sign that the real estate market is heating up.

In advance of the first release of Roslyn Ridge Homes on Sept. 7, at its peak, there was a lineup of up to 75 potential home buyers, said Logan Findlay, Morningstar homes spokesperson. On the first weekend of sales, the 11 homes sold out. More homes will be released this Saturday at noon.

The B.C. Real Estate Association is predicting a market recovery in the province in the coming year. The association released its 2019 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update recently, with residential sales in the province forecast to increase 11 per cent to 82,700 units in 2020, just below the 10-year average for MLS residential sales of 85,800 units.

“B.C. markets are showing signs of recovery after nearly a year and a half of policy-induced declines,” said Brendon Ogmundson, real estate association deputy chief economist. “We expect that recovery to continue into next year, with home sales normalizing around long-term averages.”

Home buyer activity increased to more typical levels in Metro Vancouver throughout the summer months, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s September report. Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,231 in August 2019, which was a 15.7-per-cent increase from the 1,929 sales recorded in August 2018.

“Home sales returned to more historically normal levels in July and August compared to what we saw in the fist six months of the year,” said board president Ashley Smith.

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In Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, the number of sales has increased even more than the rest of the region. From June to August, there were 271 houses sold, which is up 17 per cent over 231 sold in the same period last year. There were 146 townhouses sold, compared with 113 in 2018, which was a jump of 29 per cent. Apartments held steady at 109 units sold, compared with 112 in June to August 2018.

There are more sellers. The number of homes listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro is 13,396, a 13.3 per cent increase compared to August 2018, (11,824).



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