Report says surge in Metro Vancouver home listings sets stage for spring market “barnburner”

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      The real estate boards of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley have reported a surge in the number of homes for sale.

      In a market that has been described as one that is starved for supply, this is good news.

      As one report suggests, this sets the stage for a “barnburner” of a spring market.

      The report titled “February signals March will come in like a lion” was released Friday (March 4) by Dexter Realty.

      Kevin Skipworth, partner and managing broker with the Vancouver real estate firm, made the projection even as the Bank of Canada started raising its interest-setting rate, which make mortgages more expensive.

      On March 2, the central bank raised the rate to 0.5 percent from the previous level of 0.25 percent.

      Skipworth noted that a second increase is anticipated in April.

      “In reality,” the realty executive wrote, “even the most pessimistic forecasts for a Bank of Canada rate increases this year –175 basis points - will not have much effect on what a buyer can afford.”

      His reference of 175 basis points translates to 1.75 percent.

      “The average mortgage amount in Canada, according to Equifax, is approximately $371,500,” Skipworth went on.

      For a homeowner with a variable-rate mortgage of 1.5 percent with a 25-year amortization, the monthly mortgage payment is $1,485.

      An increase of 1.75 percent brings the rate to 3.25 percent, jacking up monthly payments to $1,807.

      It’s a difference of $322 per month.

      On March 2, the Greater Vancouver real estate board reported that there were 5,471 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale in February 2022.

      This represents an 8.4 percent increase over the 5,048 homes listed in February 2021, and a 31.2 percent increase compared to January 2022 when 4,170 homes were listed.

      Moreover, the total number of homes listed for sale in its jurisdiction numbered 6,742.

      This is a 19.3 percent decrease compared to the February 2021 total of 8,358, and a 19.1 percent increase compared to the January 2022 tally of 5,663.

      Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported on March 2 a “record-breaking volume of new listings received for the month of February”.

      There were 3,742 new listings in February, an increase of 75.3 percent compared to January, and an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to February of last year.

      The previous highest February for new listings was 3,283 in 2016, the board noted.

      By the end of February 2022, the total active listings in the Fraser Valley market was 3,790.

      While this represents a decrease of eight percent compared to the same month last year, it was 62.5 percent higher than January 2022.

      “It’s the highest month-over-month increase in active listings in the Fraser Valley in 20 years,” the board reported.

      Looking at the numbers, Dexter’s Skipworth wrote in his March 4 report that February 2022 had the “highest increase in listings in eight months and the fourth-highest home sales for the month in history”.

      All these, he suggested, “set the stage for what should be barnburner in March, traditionally one of the strongest months in the Metro Vancouver housing market”.