B.C. home prices up 18% from 2010

Much of that gain relates to Vancouver, the province’s largest market, which has seen continued buying activity in some of its pricier neighbourhoods. Year-over-year average prices in Vancouver rose 19% to reach $791,604, while the benchmark price rose 4%. Overall sales in February totalled 3,140, up 25% from a year earlier. Prices were also up 5% from January.

“The surge in consumer demand in Metro Vancouver continues to propel the provincial statistics higher,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist. “Elevated sales activity in Vancouver’s pricier communities has pushed average home prices higher than market conditions would suggest.”

One of the key reasons has been net migration, which added more than 50,000 people to the province, mostly from international destinations. Muir said most of those international buyers, however, focus primarily on Vancouver. Other regions in the province tend to primarily get interprovincial buyers.

Muir said regions, such as the Okanagan and Kootenay areas, remain in buyer’s market territory. BCREA stats show February sales in Kootenay were down 31% year-over-year to 116, and the average price was down 11.8% year-over-year to reach $232,327. A similar picture could be found in the South Okanagan, where sales were down 15.2% to 89, and prices were down 9.4% to reach an average of $283,122.

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