In a stark contrast to Calgary’s housing market drop-off, two key cities in a western province reported strong sales during the month of March.
Vancouver, which is one of the most expensive and active markets in Canada, posted a massive 53.5 per cent increase in year-over-year sales last month, as the Home Price Index composite benchmark hiked 7.2 per cent to $660,700. The benchmark price for a detached property, however, was up 11.2 per cent to $1.05 million.
“We're seeing strong competition amongst home buyers today,” said Darcy McLeod, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which released the numbers. “This is leading to more multiple offer situations and some upward pressure on home prices. For sellers, this means that it's taking less time, on average, for your home to sell if you have it priced correctly for today's market.”
In Victoria, meanwhile, sales were up 21.6 per cent, year on year, as the capital city continues to scoop up buyers who have been priced out of Vancouver. The benchmark price there increased just less than two per cent to $569,700.
“Interesting this year was that the momentum we saw in the market over the course of 2014 has continued to increase,” said Guy Crozier, the president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, which also released March statistics. “Consumer confidence in local real estate appears to be high, and it’s likely that buyers are taking advantage of low interest rates.”
Compared to February, March sales were up 32.6 per cent in Vancouver and up 35.7 per cent in Victoria. Listings in Vancouver also increased, rising 13.1 per cent from the same period last year, while listings fell 6.9 per cent in Victoria compared to the same time period.