Vancouver Condo Pre-Sales Hit A Multi-Year Low For Absorption

Slowing of the Greater Vancouver real estate market is hitting pre-sale condos. Numbers from MLA Canada, a condo pre-sale marketing agency, show new projects are seeing slow absorption in February. The slowing of sales is sending relative demand to levels that could send prices lower.

Greater Vancouver New Condo Sales Are Plummeting

Greater Vancouver condo pre-sales of new projects are slowing down very quickly. There were an estimated 171 pre-sales picked up in February, down 9.41% from the month before. This represents an 88% decline compared to the same month last year. Fewer releases than last year meant a decline was expected, just not that large of a decline.

Greater Vancouver New Condo Releases Drop

The number of new units launched for sale made a sharp decline, as developers hold back new projects. There were an estimated 1,144 new units released to market in February, up 14.7% from the month before. This represented a decline of 48.2% when compared to the same month last year. That’s almost half of the inventory added this time last year, but you’ll see why when we compare absorption.

Greater Vancouver New Pre-Sale Real Estate Listings

The number of newly available pre-sale units of new homes across Greater Vancouver.

*MLA estimate.
Source: MLA Canada, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver New Condo Absorption Plummets To Low

Buyers balking at new releases sent the absorption of new projects plummeting. The sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) fell to just 15% in February, a decline of 78.57% from last year. This is the lowest it’s been going back to at least 2017. When the SNLR is above 60, the market is a seller’s market, and prices are expected to rise. When it falls below 60 but is above 40, the market is a balanced market with prices just right. If it falls below 40 it’s a buyer’s market, and prices are expected to drop.

Greater Vancouver New Home Pre-Sale Absorption

The ratio of sales to new listings of pre-sale homes across Greater Vancouver.

*MLA Canada number not available, Better Dwelling estimate based on inference data obtained from MLA.
Source: MLA Canada, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver condo pre-sales are suffering from the same issue as resale units. Fewer sales, and higher inventory are relieving pressure on prices to move higher. The removal of this pressure is also killing much of the FOMO buyers had.

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  • Reply
    Im Therious 4 years ago

    Somewhat related to this boom and bust, what do the punters on this board think will be the next bubblicious asset?

    In a few short years, we’ve had bitcoin, real estate and marijuana stocks (to a degree) pop…

    • Reply
      M.Bury 4 years ago


      The answer is simple…Art.

      “They” call it “alternative investments” but it includes traditional art, comic books, old cars (even rusted out, rat-infested ones), baseball cards, and tulip bulbs.

  • Reply
    John 4 years ago

    I don’t think the marijuana stocks were a bubble, as much as its new industry volatility. True early adopters cashed out and are probably looking to get back in in a different capacity. Therefore, the money although not currently IN the marijuana market, is there waiting to re-enter.

    Consider, as marijuana gains the same social recognition as alcohol, not just in Canada but worldwide, we’ll see these million dollar revenues quickly turn to billion dollar revenues. So there is quite an upside still in the market as the industry spends to build itself.

    I’d also argue marijuana, like ‘adult entertainment’, will be more resistant to recessionary pressures than alcohol given its relatively low cost for intoxication. RE: it’s cheaper to smoke/vape a $1.50 joint with friends than sharing a $50.00 2-4.

    As for the next bubblicious asset? Honestly, I think all the bubbles are out there already and we’re entering a period of unwinding.

    We sell computers based on performance, yet circuit boards are robotically printed. can you really justify the enormous sums these products command?

    We buy a new car for $20,000.00. We get in a fender-bender and the replacement bump is $4000.00 “because of the sensors”. Can you really buy all the other parts for $16,000? No.

    Does an S10+ *actually* cost $2209.00? Or have we been led to believe it should?

    Should you really be charged $25.00 for the opportunity to have a bank account?

    Why does a hall cost 100% more to rent when its for a wedding compared to…any other function?

    • Reply
      Im Therious 4 years ago

      That’s an interesting perspective.

      If I read you right, the cycle of cheap money has encouraged sellers to price many things at multiples of their intrinsic value since Sheeple just gobble up everything in sight…

      Perhaps someone should create and track an index that calculates the formula of a basket of goods and services of (market value)/(manufacturing cost).

      I propose it be called the Bubblicious Index.

    • Reply
      Joseph 4 years ago


      That was an interesting perspective! An eye opener. Will start looking at things differently.


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