Vancouver Condos See Fewest Sales Since 2009, Inventory Pops 131% Higher

Greater Vancouver condo sales are extending losses into the normally busy spring. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) numbers show prices continued to drop in March. The price decline came with the fewest March sales since 2009, and double last year’s inventory.

Greater Vancouver Condo Prices Drop The Most Since 2009

The price of a condo apartment is getting cheaper across Greater Vancouver. REBGV reports the benchmark price fell to $656,900 in March, down 5.9% from last year. In the City of Vancouver proper, the Vancouver East benchmark fell to $547,700, down 5.2% from last year. In Vancouver West, the benchmark fell to $769,200, down 8.9% from last year. Yup, the benchmark price is down a whopping $75,146 in Vancouver West.

Greater Vancouver Condo Apartment Benchmark Price

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The annual declines appear to be getting larger for condo apartments. REBGV’s annual pace of growth decelerated for 18 consecutive months. Only 3 of those months were negative, but prices still made a big drop. This was the largest decline since 2009, and prices are back to December 2017 levels.

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 Fall TO 2009 Levels

Greater Vancouver condo sales fell to a multi-year low for the month. REBGV reported 873 sales in March, up 15% from the month before. Even with the seasonal increase, sales are down 35.3% from last year. The monthly increase is normal, but the annual increase is obviously not. This represents the fewest condo apartment sales for the month of March since 2009.

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 Rises 131%

New listings of Greater Vancouver condo apartments increased last month. REBGV reported 2,284 new listings in March, up 24.3% from the month before. This represents an 18.15% increase compared to the same month last year. The monthly increase is once again seasonal, but the annual is not. The rise in new listings,  with falling sales, sent total inventory much higher.

Active listings of condo apartments reached a multi-year high. REGBV reported 5,076 active listings in March, up 13.68% from the month before. Compared to the same month last year, active listing are now up 131%. This is the most March inventory seen since 2015, which has released a lot of the pressure on prices.

Demand is much weaker than it’s been recently, according to the sales to active listings ratio (SALR). The SALR fell to 17.2% in March, down 72% compared to the same month last year. Above 20 and the market is a seller’s market, and prices are expected to rise. Below 12, the market is a buyer’s market, and prices are expected to fall. Between 12 and 20, and the market is considered balanced. The market is technically balanced right now. However, always exercise caution when numbers are making drastic swings.

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 condo sales fell to a 10 year low, while inventory doubled. Yes, inventory is still low compared to historic levels, but sales at a recession low. Combine this with the largest price decline since the Great Recession, and even the low-ish inventory may be too much right now.

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