The first phase of the 330-unit Inspire apartment complex in downtown Maple Ridge is already sold. (Neil Corbett/The News)

The first phase of the 330-unit Inspire apartment complex in downtown Maple Ridge is already sold. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Real estate market cools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Still well above average sales for this time of year

Homes sales in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are down in the first quarter 2022 compared with last year, but 2021 was an unprecedented year for sales.

There were 271 houses sold in the two cities in March of 2021, and across the region buyers set sales records.

“You’re comparing to the biggest sales month in over 100 years of real estate,” said Maple Ridge agent Ron Antalek of RE/MAX. “March 2021 was the peak.”

Comparing the first quarter of 2022 with last year, detached sales have dropped from 533 t0 340 houses, for a decline of 36 per cent. Townhouses are down from 254 to 181, which is a drop of 29 per cent. Apartments are down from 223 to 200 for a 10 per cent decrease.

However, the sales statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) say last month’s sales were still 25.5 per cent above the 10-year March sales average.

Antalek said a cooling of the overheated market is positive, as buyers have more options and bidding wars become less frequent.

“Normalizing the market a little bit is healthy,” he said.

While government attempts to use new regulations to cool the housing market, the veteran realtor said market forces, such as rising interest rates, will have the desired effects.

“The best thing is to leave the market alone,” he said.

READ ALSO: B.C. government prepares to impose real estate cooling-off period

Antalek said he is in the process selling the Inspire Maple Ridge condominium development by the Platinum Group, and the first phase of the 330 unit complex has already sold. He said people are coming from Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver and across the region, sold on not just on affordability, but on lakes and natural beauty, and the school system.

“When you identify what we have here, it is pretty special,” said Antalek. “It’s a great place to live.”

It is also affordable, relative to the rest of the region. Across Greater Vancouver the benchmark price of a house was $2.1 million in March, compared with $1.4 million in Maple Ridge and $1.56 million in Pitt Meadows.

Similarly, a Greater Vancouver townhouse carries a benchmark price of $1.13 million, compared with $900,000 locally last month. A Greater Vancouver apartment cost $836,000 compared with $542,000 in Maple Ridge and $679,000 in Pitt Meadows.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro Vancouver is 7,628, a 16.6 per cent decrease compared to March 2021 (9,145) and a 13.1 per cent increase compared to February 2022 (6,742).

“We’re still seeing upward pressure on prices across all housing categories in the region. Lack of supply is driving this pressure,” said Daniel John, REBGV chair. “The number of homes listed for sale on our MLS system today is less than half of what’s needed to shift the market into balanced territory.”

READ ALSO: High-end real estate assessments jump in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

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