Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:01am PST
The rise in June of home sales and prices for the third straight month shows that the grill isn't the only thing to heat up in B.C. this summer.
Provincial Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales rose nearly 3% from May and 17% from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted 7,220 units, the strongest pace since February 2011. Recent strengthening of housing demand has likely reflected mortgage rate cuts earlier in the year and stronger employment growth in Metro Vancouver, which continues to convert more prospective buyers into homeowners.
While provincial sales growth was healthy in June, the top-line numbers mask some variation among markets.
Unlike May, which recorded higher sales in all regional real estate board areas, June had sales growth that was concentrated in Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island (excluding Victoria), northern B.C. and the south Okanagan.
The average MLS price climbed 0.8% from May to $558,530, a 5% gain from the same month in 2013.
Where available, we prefer to use the constant-quality Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) home price index (HPI). Year-over-year HPI growth was 3.5% in the Lower Mainland, 1% in Victoria and 2% in the rest of the island, which points to a mild price-growth environment.