Vancouver Condo Prices Are Where They Were Almost Two Years Ago

The Greater Vancouver condo market is seeing some improvements, but not many. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data shows the price of a condo apartment fell in August. The declines are getting smaller though, as sales and inventory find a better mix.

Greater Vancouver Condo Prices Are At Down To 2017 Levels

The price of a condo apartment in Greater Vancouver continues to fall from last year. The benchmark price across REBGV reached $654,000 in August, down 7.4% from last year. In the City of Vancouver, Vancouver East’s benchmark reached $522,300, down 7.5% from last year. In Vancouver West, the benchmark fell to $756,000, down 8.4% from the year before. Considering prices only turned negative in 2019, this is a surprisingly large decline.

Greater Vancouver Condo Apartment Benchmark Price

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The benchmark’s rate of negative growth is getting smaller. The 7.4% decline in August isn’t as large as the month before. This is the second consecutive month we’ve seen the losses improve, but prices are still down 9.0% from peak. For context, the typical condo apartment is around the same price it was in September 2017. The rate prices are dropping is slowing, but they’re still falling.

Greater Vancouver Condo Benchmark Price Change

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Condo Sales Rise Over 8%

Greater Vancouver condo sales made a big improvement from last year. REBGV recorded 1,116 condo sales in August, down 10.2% from the month before. This represents an increase of 8.87% compared to the same month last year. August sales are up compared to last year, but still fall 16.9% from the 5-year median for the month. Things are better, but pretty far from normal for the month.

Greater Vancouver Condo August Sales

The number of condo apartments sold in the month of August, across Greater Vancouver.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Condo Inventory Soars Over 36%

New listings for Greater Vancouver condos made a mild bump higher. REBGV reported 1,763 new condo listings in August, down 19.2% from last year. This represents an increase of 1.4% compared to last year. The monthly decline is expected, and the annual increase isn’t all that large. However, it didn’t help inventory that was already much higher than last year.

Greater Vancouver Condo Sales Vs. New Listings

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

New listings were a little higher, but lingering inventory sent total inventory soaring. REBGV reports 5,269 active listings in August, down 6.8% from the month before. Compared to the same month last year, inventory is 36.5% higher. This is a huge jump, and relieving a lot of pressure on prices to move higher.

The much bigger jump in inventory over sales resulted in a lower sales to active listings ratio (SALR). REBGV reports the condo SALR fell to 21.2% in August, down from 26.6% during the same month last year. Generally speaking, the market is a seller’s market above 20%, and prices are expected to rise. Below 12% and the market is a buyer’s market, and where prices should fall. Between 12% and 20% is balanced, and prices are considered appropriate. For this indicator to matter, the ratio needs to stick in one range. Otherwise big swings often accompany disproportionately large movements.

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.

Greater Vancouver’s condo market is a mixed bag right now, with lower prices leading the headline. There’s some signs of improvement, like rising sales and the size of losses shrinking. However, there are also signs of deterioration, like falling prices and rising inventory.

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  • Reply
    RainCityRyan 5 years ago

    And now we wait for the record number of condos completing to hit this market.
    I doubt an estimated 9,000 units this year will make an impact.

  • Reply
    Frost 5 years ago

    Just a small crackdown (more like a trickle) on money launderers and the prices in Vancouver are flying down. Imagine what Toronto and the rest of Canadian RE will look like in 10 years if the Feds begin to crack down on money laundering. As in actually start seizing properties obtained by proceeds of crime or criminal networks. This can only materialize if you the people make this a number one issue in this upcoming election. Let your local reps know, demand action.

    • Reply
      Skylar 5 years ago

      Indeed Frost.
      In fact, we didn’t really see prices move when we taxed foreign speculation.
      The reaction came when we started looking at money laundering.
      You should see Vancouver right now. Its dumpster of homelessness and crime, with the alleyways smelling like human feces.

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