Greater Vancouver Real Estate Prices Enter Technical “Correction”

Posted by Michael La Prairie on Thursday, September 5th, 2019 at 1:19pm.

Greater Vancouver real estate is improving, but it’s not even close to normal yet. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) numbers show a big climb in sales in August. The rise in sales was met with a jump in inventory though, offsetting most of the improvement. The region continued to see falling prices, with the composite falling more than 10% from peak for the first time since the recent downturn.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Prices Enter Technical Correction

Greater Vancouver real estate prices continue to fall, according to the local board’s benchmark price. REBGV reports the benchmark, or typical, home cost $993,300 in August, down 8.3% from last year. In the City proper, Vancouver East saw the benchmark fall to $1,033,400, down 9.3% over the same period. Vancouver West fell to $1,226,200, down 9.3% from last year.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price

The rate of price growth is improving, but prices hit a new milestone – a technical correction. The 8.3% decline made in August is an improvement from the month before, and marks the second consecutive uptick. Prices however are still falling lower, and have rolled back to May 2017 levels. Compared to the peak, prices are now 10.05% lower across Greater Vancouver. Falling 10% below is the point when a technical correction for prices is made. This the first-time the REBGV composite has made that move recently.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price Change

The annual percent change of a typical home across Greater Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Sales Make Double Digit Climb

Falling real estate prices are bringing back buyers, with sales making a double digit climb from last year. REBGV reported 2,231 sales in August, down 12.7% from the month before. This represents an increase of 15.7% compared to the same month last year. Sales are still down 9.2% from below the 10-year August sales average. That makes it the second fewest sales in the past 5 years for the month, or the fourth highest… out of five. The REBGV president said “Home sales returned to more historically normal levels in July and August compared to what we saw in the first six months of the year.” Uh, sure.

Greater Vancouver Composite Sales Vs. Listings

The number of homes sold vs total inventory in Greater Vancouver.


Greater Vancouver Inventory Rises Over 13%

Greater Vancouver real estate saw a decline in the number of new listings for sale. REBGV reported 3,747 new listings in August, down 18.8% from the month before. This represents a 3.5% decline when compared to the same month last year. The monthly decline is typical for the season, but the more modest annual decline is not. Even with a drop in new listings though, the number of total listings continues to swell.

Active listings, the total number of listings for sale, climbed across Greater Vancouver. REBGV reported 13,396 active listings in August, down 5.9% from the month before. This represents an increase of 13.3% compared to the same month last year. Once again, the monthly decline is seasonal, but the annual increase is not. The past month was the highest number of active listings for August since 2014.

Higher sales improved the sales to active listings ratio (SALR), but climbing inventory took a lot of the edge off. REBGV’s composite SALR reached 16.7% in August, up from 16.3% during the same month last year. The market is considered a buyer’s market when the ratio falls below 12%, and prices are expected to fall. When the ratio rises above 20% the market is a seller’s market, and prices are expected to rise. Between 12% and 20% is considered balanced, and the market is priced right for demand. Currently the market demand for the amount of inventory is marginally better than last year.

Greater Vancouver is seeing some improvements, with sales making a big jump. However, the rise in sales was met with a substantial increase in inventory. Rising sales help improve buyer sentiment, but rising inventory is tapering price growth.


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