There are not enough properties for sale in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to give adequate choices for buyers, according to a longtime local realtor.
Debbie Sheppard said she held an open house that saw large numbers of groups come through.
“There’s not the product out there, but the buyers are there,” she said. “They’re trying to find what they’re looking for.”
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s January report echoes that sentiment, reporting housing inventory remains low in Metro Vancouver.
Home sales dipped well below monthly historical averages in January.
The agency reports residential home sales in the region totalled 1,022 in January 2023, which was a 55.3 per cent decrease from the 2,285 sales recorded in January 2022. It was also 43 per cent below the 10-year January sales average. It’s generally a slower month in the industry.
In Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, 44 houses sold in January, for a median price of $1.14 million. Twenty-two apartments sold for a median price of $525,000. There were 13 townhouses old, but no median prices was available.
For comparison, in January 2022, 61 houses sold for $1.53 million, 53 apartments for $610,00 and 36 townhouses for $890,000.
“With mortgage rates having risen so rapidly over the last year, we anticipated sales this month would be among the lowest in recent history,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics. “Looking forward, however, the Bank of Canada has said that it will pause further rate increases as long as the incoming economic data continues to support this policy stance. This should provide more certainty for home buyers and sellers in the market.”
Sheppard said buyers are adjusting to the realities of the new interest rates, and are ready to do business. They just need some options in the listings, she said.
“It seems demand is really high still for particular types of properties,” she said. “Homes with suites, up to a price point of $1.4 still seem to be the most in demand. Other types of properties are still sitting with little action.
“Buyers are still hoping that prices will drop dramatically, as historically they have in a buyers market. But this hasn’t been happening because the number of listings coming on the market is unusually low.”
There were 3,297 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS in Metro Vancouver in January 2023. That’s a 21 per cent decrease compared to the 4,170 homes listed in January 2022.
Sheppard said price decreases have slowed, and that is borne out by the REBGV stats. The three-month change across all property types in Maple Ridge is down 3.3 per cent, and in Pitt Meadows down 4.9 per cent.
“We know the peak for prices in our market occurred last spring. Over the coming months, year-over-year data comparisons will show larger price declines than we’ve been reporting up to now,” said Lis. “It’s important to understand that year-over-year calculations are backward-looking. These price declines already happened, and what we are seeing today is that prices may have found a footing, even if it’s an awkward one sandwiched between low inventory and higher borrowing costs.”
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