After months of deflated sales, the Tri-Cities real estate market experienced a slight uptick in March, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) monthly statistics.
The Tri-Cities market peaked during March last year, with 644 properties sold. Last month, 343 properties were sold, a 47 percent decrease from 2022, but a 29 percent increase from February.
Local sales are similar to regional trends. Since the peak, regional sales have declined 42.5 percent, and are 28.4 percent below the 10-year seasonal average.
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Prices have reversed their downward or stagnant trajectory.
In March, single-family properties increased between 2.2 and 2.4 percent, while townhomes increased between 1.6 and 2.3 percent.
Port Moody apartments are the only housing type where declines were seen in March.
Across the region, prices increased 1.8 percent compared to February.
“On the pricing side, the spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about one to two percent across all product types,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics.
“The surprising part of this recent activity is that these price increases are occurring against a backdrop of elevated borrowing costs, below-average sales, and new listing activity that continues to suggest that sellers are awaiting more favorable market conditions.”
Lis said the region continues to suffer from a shortage of new listings.
There were 4,317 new properties listed for sale in March, a 35.5 decrease from March 2022, and 22.3 percent below the 10-year seasonal average.
The sales-to-active listings ratio was 30.7 percent, the REBGV report stated, adding that downward pressure on homes occurs when that ratio dips below 12 percent for a sustained period.
“If home sellers remain on the sidelines, monthly sales figures will continue to appear lower than historical averages as we move toward summer,” Lis said. “With fewer homes coming on the market, home sales will remain lower than we’re accustomed to seeing at this point in the year, almost entirely by definition.”
Active listings for Tri-Cities by the end of March sat at 538, a 43 percent decrease from the 952 listings in March 2022, but 26 percent increase from February.
Apartment sales continue to dominate the sales market in the Tri-Cities, accounting for 48 percent.
In the last year, the largest price drops were in Port Coquitlam’s single-family properties, with an average decline of 16.2 percent. The small declines have occurred for Port Moody apartments, at 5.8 percent.
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