It’s Official: Vancouver Condos Are No Longer A Seller’s Market As Inventory Soars

Greater Vancouver condo buyers are having a sudden shift in sentiment. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) numbers show price growth continued the trend of rapid price deceleration in September. The deceleration was most likely due to rising inventory and falling sales. The condo market has now exited a seller’s market for the first time in years.

Greater Vancouver Condo Prices Are Up Over 7.4%

The price of a typical condo is a little cheaper in Greater Vancouver. REBGV reported a benchmark price of $687,300 in September,  down 1.17% from the month before. The annual pace of growth is still much higher, reaching 7.4%. This month’s buyers are probably pretty happy saved over $8,000 on a typical condo.

Greater Vancouver Condo Apartment Benchmark Price

The price of a typical condo apartment across Greater Vancouver, in Canadian dollars.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Worth noting that the annual pace of growth is decelerating very quickly. Last month’s 7.4% follows 8 consecutive months of deceleration. The annual pace of growth is the slowest we’ve seen since August 2015. Let’s not pretend these are bad price gains – it would be a monster climb for any other market. The concern is the speed at which those gains are tapering, indicating a correction may be brewing.

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Condos See Median Sale Price Fall Over 5%

The median sale price of a condo in Greater Vancouver is falling lower. REBGV reported a median sale price of $680,000, down 5.55% when compared to last year. The median sale price is not adjusted for quality or size, unlike the benchmark. The indicator is popular with international buyers however.

Greater Vancouver Condo Median Sale Price

The median sale price of a condo apartment across Greater Vancouver, in Canadian dollars.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Condo Sales Fall Over 44%

Condo sales are falling across Greater Vancouver. REBGV reported 812 sales in September, down 20.78% compared to the month before. When compared to the same month last year, sales are down 44.03%. Both the monthly and annual decline are way larger than expected.

Greater Vancouver Condo Sales Vs. New Listings

The number of condo apartments sold vs new inventory in Greater Vancouver.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Condo Inventory Soars Over 92%

There’s a whole lot more condo inventory across Greater Vancouver. REBGV reported 2,417 new listings in September, up 39% from the month before. When compared to the same month last year, new listings were 10.92% higher. The rise in new listings helped to push new inventory to highs we haven’t quite seen in some time.

The total number of active listings for condos is higher – way higher. REBGV reported 4,613 active listings in September, up a massive 92.04% when compared to the same month last year. The decline in sales and a rise in active listings pushed the ratio to 17.6, the lowest seen since January 2015. A seller’s market is above 20, a buyer’s market is below 12, and between those numbers is “balanced.”

Greater Vancouver Condo Sales To Active Listings Ratio

The ratio of sales to active listings in Greater Vancouver. Higher ratios mean more pressure on prices to rise.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The market is technically “balanced,” but the rapid decline means the market could just be making a brief stop. The speed at which sales are falling and inventory is rising shows a rapid shift in sentiment. The backdrop of higher interest rates and tighter lending conditions aren’t likely to help this trend reverse either.

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  • Reply
    Bluetheimpala 6 years ago

    “What’s that smell papa?”
    “Well son, that smell is a shitty slurry”
    (Insert rebuttal to some counter narrative being pumped by the industry, subversive actors and the greaterfools which I will track and comment on later, probably referencing hamster pants).
    Tick tock. BD4L.

  • Reply
    Mikos 6 years ago

    Over 100k immigrants per year to the region. This is a very short term issue.

  • Reply
    vnm 6 years ago

    “A correction may be brewing”
    How brutally droll!
    And this with rock-bottom unemployment and interest rates.

    • Reply
      Rain City Ryan 6 years ago

      A quick google search of “credit exhaustion” should give some insight as why this is happening.

      Until incomes catch up (I believe it’s about 30yrs out given current rates) the well has gone dry.

      Top off the credit exhaustion with record new builds coming (~43000 units) and now OFSI is shutting down the bank of mom & dad.

      • Reply
        vnm 6 years ago

        A big difference between squirrels and over-leveraged “investors” is that squirrels are smart enough to stow away food for winter, as opposed to stocking up on debt.

        • Reply
          Rain City Ryan 6 years ago

          Unless they’ve managed to save the entire cost of purchase, the lack of liquidity and the deflation in the underlying asset, will cause even unregulated lenders to shy away from real estate.
          This will manifest as an excessive risk premium applied to lending rates.

          Long story short we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
          Incomes must rise SUBSTANTIALLY to support the increased cost of housing. This will cause inflation to rise and therefore the BoC will increase the lending rate.

          Yesterday I posted a link to a book … more the fool I.
          Here’s a link to a video that should have enough bright colours AND hit all the high points of the book:

  • Reply
    Thomas Avery 6 years ago

    No rental inventory, no where else to move. You can run to Toronto, but prices are getting just as steep as Vancouver. People can hold off buying for a few months, but they can’t do it for years.

    • Reply
      SUMSKILLZ 6 years ago

      Two cousins (sisters) left Vancouver in 2017, fed up after living there for 18 years. It was a bitter pill to take to get a better quality of life elsewhere.

      A ex-colleague left Vancouver after 12 years there. She’s in the Halifax area now and is as happy as a clam.

      I hear the same tales at parties, work related conferences, from vendors I liaise with, maybe two years now. Anecdotally it sounds like an exodus to me.

      • Reply
        Roger 6 years ago

        ‘Anectodtally it sounds like an exodus’.

        lolz. Thanks for the solid data, but according to actual life Vancouver is still growing year to year. So the only ones leaving are the ones who can’t/won’t compete for housing but love to write letters about how jaded they are.

        • Reply
          SUMSKILLZ 6 years ago

          Nope, these folks homes bought pre-boom. RE was not an issue for them, it was the misery brought about by their city becoming a theme park for the rich. No person is an island onto themselves.

    • Reply
      Raging Ranter 6 years ago

      What if they’re not holding off. What if they just can’t buy? Needing a roof over your head is one thing. Being able to get a mortgage is another.

  • Reply
    Legalize Housing 6 years ago

    Prices won’t come down until they remove restrictive building measures.

    • Reply
      Enough of this 6 years ago

      Thank you, Phil Soper.. Yet entirely disconnected from fundamentals

      • Reply
        Kash 6 years ago

        Can’t believe that guys is still employed. Shame on him for giving people the advise he does.

    • Reply
      Carlton 6 years ago

      That’s what my agent tells me – “hurry and buy it will never come down.”

      Perhaps you should take his advice.

  • Reply
    CJRay 6 years ago

    There could end up being a lot of industry folks running to Halifax as well, watching their backs for all the bad advice they spewed.

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