April was not a great month across the board when it came to real estate sales in Metro Vancouver and the price of homes in this area have dropped during the past year as well.
In Pitt Meadows, townhouse prices, currently with a benchmark price of $319,000, dipped by 4.6 per cent compared to April of last year. Pitt Meadows apartment prices ($221,800) dropped by 2.6 per cent from April 2011. Detached homes ($506,300) in Pitt Meadows rose, only slightly, by 0.8 per cent over the past 12 months.
Further east in Maple Ridge, the benchmark price of a detached home ($469,100) fell slightly, by 0.2 per cent. Townhouses ($274,400) saw a 2.1 per cent decline in price since April 2011 while apartment prices ($183,400) dipped by 0.9 per cent.
Local realtor Jessica Prasad with Sutton West Coast Realty said the real estate market in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows continues to have potential, as rising house prices draw home buyers into the Fraser Valley.
"A home in Maple Ridge, compared to Vancouver, is great for a first-time home buyer, and it's a growing area," said Prasad, who has been selling real estate in the area for the past two years. "You have the West Coast Express, and it will take you to downtown Vancouver in an hour, and that's an advantage for commuters."
Prasad said many potential buyers are coming from the Tri-Cities area.
"They're not wanting to cross bridges or move too far away [from Metro Vancouver] and are finding [Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows] affordable," she said.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,799 on the Multiple Listing Service in April.
This represents a 13.2-per cent decline compared to the 3,225 sales recorded in April 2011 and a decline of 2.6 per cent compared to the 2,874 sales in March 2012.
April sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 16.9 per cent below the 10-year April sales average of 3,369.
REBGV president Eugen Klein said it isn't all bad news: "Although April sales were below what's typical for the month, we continue to see, with a sales-to-active listing ratio of nearly 17 per cent, a balanced relationship between buyer demand and seller supply in our marketplace."
New listings for detached, attached, and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 6,056 in April 2012. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase compared to both March 2012 when 5,843 homes were listed and April 2011 when 5,847 homes were listed for sale on the region's MLS.
Last month's new listing total was 6.7 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for April.
At 16,538, the total number of homes listed for sale on the region's MLS increased 8.5 per cent in April compared to last month and increased 16 per cent from this time last year.
Klein said recent activity has had a "stabilizing effect on home prices at the regional level," although pricing can vary depending on area and property type.
The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver currently sits at $683,800, up 3.7 per cent compared to April 2011 and an increase of 2.8 per cent over the last three months.
The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland is $612,000, which is a 3.4-per cent increase compared to April 2011 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to three months ago.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS in April 2012 reached 1,126, a decline of 19.7 per cent from the 1,402 detached sales recorded in April 2011, and a 17.8per-cent decrease from the 1,370 units sold in April 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 6.3 per cent from April 2011 to $1,064,800.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,190 in April 2012, a decline of 0.9 per cent compared to the 1,201 sales in April 2011, and a decrease of 22 per cent compared to the 1,526 sales in April 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.1 per cent from April 2011 to $375,900.
Townhome property sales in April 2012 totalled 483, a decline of 22.3 per cent compared to the 622 sales in April 2011, and a 21.6 per cent decrease from the 616 townhome properties sold in April 2010.