Deflated Tri Cities real estate sales and listings continue into February

By Patrick Penner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

TRI-CITIES DISPATCH

Deflated Tri-Cities property sales and listings continued in February, according to monthly statistics released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Across the region, property sales were 33 percent below the 10-year average for February, though sales numbers have rebounded slightly from January.

A total of 234 properties sold in the Tri-Cities in February, just over half of the sales total from the same period last year. The local market peaked in March 2022 with 644 sales.

Only 130 total sales were made in January, and February’s sales were significantly bolstered by a spike in Coquitlam apartment sales.

“It’s hard to sell what you don’t have, and with new listing activity remaining among the lowest in recent history, sales are struggling to hit typical levels for this point in the year,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics.

Similar trends were seen across Greater Vancouver.

Sales across the region totaled 1,808 in February, a 47 percent drop from February 2022 sales, but a 77 percent increase from January’s 1,022 sales.

Over half of all February sales were in the apartment market.

Lis said a positive factors from below-average sales is their inventory is growing, preventing “market conditions from straying too deeply into sellers’ market territory, particularly in the more affordably priced segments.”

The region has 3,467 properties listed for sale, 37 percent fewer than last February’s numbers, and a 5 percent increase from January.

In the Tri-Cities, 400 properties were on the market last month, 44 percent fewer listings than in February 2022, and an 8 percent decrease from January.

Average housing prices in the Tri-Cities across all types have dropped 8.2 percent in the last year.

Apartment prices across the region appear to remain the most stable.

For instance, Port Coquitlam’s single-family homes have the largest declines, at an average of 16.2 percent, while the city’s apartments have only declined an average of 1.4 percent.

Prices appear to have stabilized over the last several months with declines halting, or in some cases, significantly increasing, particularly in some apartment and townhome markets.

Port Moody apartment prices, for instance, increased by 4.2 percent last month. Whistler and Squamish apartment prices have increased by over 12 percent over the last three months.

Tri-City benchmark prices

Lis said the REBGV expects year-over-year prices to continue to decline over the next few months, but suggested that pricing was starting to “firm up.”

He added that if mortgages rates don’t increase, there is an indication that price increases will arrive by spring.

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