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Buyers wait for interest rate cuts, listings up in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Listings at a level not seen since before COVID-19 pandemic
Construction workers with lifts at the site of the 330-unit Inspire condominium development in downtown Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Many home buyers are waiting on the sidelines until interest rates come down.

That was the finding of a recent survey by BMO, which says 72 per cent of aspiring homeowners are holding out until interest rates drop before purchasing a home.

It says they are concerned about the cost of living, inflation, and their overall financial situation.

The survey came after The Bank of Canada left interest rates unchanged in April – but left the possibility open for a rate cut by June or July.

Locally, that has meant a slowdown in sales of properties priced at $1.5 million or higher, according to local Realtor Steve Hamilton.

“That part of the market has been put on hold,” he said.

He said some locals faced with renewing their mortgages at higher rates are downsizing, or moving to other B.C. cities with lower housing costs, “or to Calgary.”

“A lot of people had mortgage rates at 1.5 or two per cent, and now it’s 4.5 or five per cent,” he said.

The result has been a spike in listings. According to the latest stats from Greater Vancouver Realtors, listed homes for sale on the MLS in Metro Vancouver continued climbing in April, up 42 per cent year-over-year, almost 12,500 – a number not seen in the region since the summer of 2020.

Locally, April saw 262 houses listed in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, which was among the highest in the region, and second only to 303 houses listed in East Vancouver.

Local listings were up across all property types locally, compared with April 2023 – houses up from 159 listings to 262, townhouses from 75 to 136, and apartments from 70 to 87.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows is the top community among those served by Metro Vancouver Realtors for house sales this year so far, with 361 through April. For comparison, East Van had 296, Coquitlam 195, and New Westminster 53.

There have also been a robust 207 townhouse sales, and 158 apartments sold.

The local median selling prices locally have been $1.29 million for houses, $820,000 for townhouses and $540,000 for apartments so far this year.

That’s affordable compared to most of the region, as benchmark prices across Metro are at $2 million for houses, $1.13 million for townhouses, and $777,000 for apartments.

Hamilton describes Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows as a “reasonably healthy market.”

The BMO survey said that among 39 per cent of aspiring homeowners planning on purchasing in the near future, only 13 per cent plan to do so this year, and 26 per cent plan on buying in 2025 or later.

It also found 62 per cent of respondents say owning a home is one of their biggest aspirations, but 56 per cent of aspiring homeowners it is unattainable.

READ ALSO: Ridge Meadows real estate market stands out in Greater Vancouver

Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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