By Kevin Gillies
The hot housing market in the Lower Mainland continues to fuel housing price increases in the Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge markets.
Figures released this week by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show that benchmark prices for local houses, townhomes, and condominiums have increased across the board.
The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Maple Ridge rose 12.2 per cent over August 2014’s benchmark price to $518,400.
In Pitt Meadows the benchmark price for a single-family detached home rose 15.9 per cent over August 2014’s benchmark price to $572,900.
“There was no summer lull in our market this year. Home buyers have been working with their realtors throughout the summer months,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president, said in reference to the Lower Mainland market as a whole.
“They’re motivated, but they’re competing for a smaller supply of homes for sale than is typical for this time of year — that’s the dynamic driving our market right now.”
Over that same one-year period, the benchmark price for a Maple Ridge townhouse rose 6.3 per cent to $289,600; the benchmark price for a Pitt Meadows townhouse rose 12.7 per cent to $367,700.
Condominium benchmark prices rose similarly — 3.2 per cent to $169,300 in Maple Ridge and 8.3 per cent to $252,600 in Pitt Meadows.
The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in the Metro Vancouver region is currently $708,500 — a 12 per cent increase compared to August 2014.
The REBGV also reports that last month’s sales for the region were 27.9 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.
The board says residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,362 on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in August 2015 —a 21.3 per cent increase compared to the 2,771 sales recorded in August 2014, and a decrease of 15.5 per cent compared to the 3,978 sales in July 2015.
McLeod says new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totaled 4,281 in August — an 8.7 per cent increase compared to the 3,940 new listings reported in August 2014.
Locally, the number of listings last month was virtually the same as August 2014.
But it is noteworthy that 117 per cent of the 54 attached-home (townhouse) listings sold, while 87 per cent of the 174 detached, single-family home listings sold.
In both July and August of this year, there was 174 listing of detached, single-family homes in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows combined.
But attached-home listings for Ridge-Meadows plummeted 45 per cent from 99 in July to just 54 in August.
McLeod says the total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS is 10,897, a 26.2 per cent decline compared to August 2014 and a 5.3 per cent decline compared to July 2015. The inventory shortage, he says, is driving the region’s hot housing market.
“Those who have a sound buying strategy and an understanding of current price trends are having the most success in today’s market,” he says.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio in August was 30.9 per cent; the sixth consecutive month this ratio has been above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver.
Other areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster and South Delta.
Kevin Gillies is a freelance writer for Black Press.