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Lower Mainland housing market saw strong demand in spring, low supply

Last Updated Jun 14, 2021 at 7:20 am PDT

FILE - A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jonathan Hayward)

B.C. home sales in May were up more than 178 per cent over the same month last year

Prices have risen compared to a year ago, with average MLS residential price for May up 26 per cent: BCREA

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It appears the housing market in B.C. peaked in March of this year, but the BC Real Estate Association expects sales to remain strong through the rest of 2021.

It says there was a 178.2 per cent increase in home sales across the province last month, compared to May 2020 when the initial COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was in full swing.

Prices have also risen compared to a year ago, with the average MLS residential price for May up 26 per cent compared to the same time last year.

It now sits at about $915,000.

“Provincial housing markets continue to calm after peaking in March,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “The implementation of a stricter mortgage stress test in June may have a minor impact on home sales but we expect strong market activity over the second half of the year.”

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He says markets across the Lower Mainland are seeing new listings increase. However, Ogmundson notes listings in markets outside of the Metro Vancouver region “have started to flatten out.”

This comes after the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board said on June 2 that the super-heated housing market in Metro Vancouver cooled slightly in May. However, the board noted sales remained active.