More from Garry Marr | @DustyWallet
It’s not only the country’s most expensive market that is on fire in British Columbia, more homes traded hands throughout the province in March than in eight years.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association said Thursday that 9,101 homes were sold through the Multiple Listing Service last month, a 37.6 per cent increase in sales from a year ago. The total dollar volume was $5.8 billion, a 57.1% increase from a year ago while average prices climbed 14.1 per cent during the period to $641,799.
The Vancouver story has been well documented and the provincial statistics bear out the strength of that market. Greater Vancouver, where the average price of a home sold in March reached $891,652, accounted for more than two-thirds of the dollar volume of sales. Two-storey detached homes, in particular, now fetch more than $1.27 million in Vancouver and the North Shore, according to Royal LePage’s latest House Price Survey.
But there are other cities that showed a massive upswing in sales. In the Fraser Valley, sales were 45.4 per cent in March from a year ago. The South Okanagan saw a 30.3% bump in sales while Vancouver Island was up 28.2 per cent during the period.
The chief economist for the B.C. provincial association, Cameron Muir, says “rock bottom” interest rates and “rising consumer confidence” have helped drive sales across the province.
“Many board areas are now exhibiting sellers’ market conditions with home prices advancing well above the rate of inflation,” said Mr. Muir, in a release.
Average sale prices in Vancouver were up 11.2 per cent last month from a year ago but during the period the Fraser Valley saw a 10.4% increase, South Okanagan an 11% jump and Kamloops was up 6.6%.
The provincial average price, for the 11 boards surveyed by the British Columbia group, reached $641,799. The cheapest place in the province was Powell River on the Sunshine Coast of southwestern BC but even there prices climbed 4.6% to an average of $229,393.