Vancouver Detached Real Estate Wipes Out Almost 2 Years of Price Gains

Vancouver’s detached real estate market has wiped out over a year of gains. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) numbers show prices continued to fall in December. The falling prices were accompanied by a record low for sales, and higher inventory.

Greater Vancouver Detached Prices Fall Over 7%

The price of a typical Vancouver detached home is dropping. REBGV reported a benchmark price of $1,479,000 in December, down 1.4% from the month before. Prices are now down 7.8% compared to the same month last year. In the City, Vancouver East fell to $1,447,300, down 7.2% from last year. Vancouver West saw detached prices fall to $3,135,400, an even more steep decline of 11.8% from last year. The region has officially wiped out over a year worth of gains, falling back to April 2016 levels.

Greater Vancouver Detached Benchmark Price

The price of a typical detached home across the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, in Canadian dollars.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The price declines for a detached home are getting larger across Greater Vancouver. The 7.8% in December, is a very large jump from the 6.5% seen the month before. The 12 month pace of loss is now the largest it’s been since June 2009. Prices have fallen 8.53% from peak so far.

Greater Vancouver Detached Benchmark Percent Change

The 12 month percent change of a typical detached home across the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Detached Real Estate Sales Fall Over 43%

Greater Vancouver detached sales set a new record, and not the good kind. REBGV reported 347 sales in December, down 31% from the month before. This represents a 43.66% decline, when compared to the same month last year. The monthly decline is normal, but the annual decline is totally not. December 2018 is the fewest sales for the month in over 20 years.

Greater Vancouver Detached Sales Vs. New Listings

The total number of detached sales, compared to the number of new detached listings per month.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Detached Inventory Rises Over 9%

The number of new listings for detached homes fell across the board. REBGV reported 536 new listings in December, down 54.95% from the month before. This represents a 20.59% decline when compared to the same month last year. The decline in new listings wasn’t enough to bring total inventory levels down.

The number of active listings for detached real estate increased. REBGV reported 4,901 active listings in December, down 15.45% from the month before. This represents a 9.78% increase compared to the same month last year. REBGV last saw December detached inventory this high in 2012.

Falling sales and rising inventory sent the sales to active listings ratio (SALR) into a nosedive. The SALR for detached real estate fell to 7.1 in December, down 20.05% from last year. When the ratio is above 20, prices are expected to move higher. When it falls below 12, prices are expected to fall. Between 12 and 20 and things are suppose to just dandy. This is the lowest SALR we’ve seen for detached units in December since 2008.

Greater Vancouver’s detached market saw lower prices, lower sales, and higher inventory. Individually, each one of these things would be considered a problem. Together, it’s a total disaster.

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  • Reply
    ken 5 years ago

    Easily 6 months lagging data, as prices for detached are down 20%, not 7%. Fear definitely starting to grip the market, as some sellers cannot hold out any longer and are slashing their price. Home builders who built on spec are being foreclosed on by their lender, and huge increase of vacant lots being thrown on the market with plans for a house included. Getting very serious, very ugly.

    • Reply
      Beh G. 5 years ago

      “Benchmark price” whatever the hell it means and however it’s calculated is nothing but an opaque metric easily manipulated and therefore unworthy of any consideration. The only metric worthy of discussion is the average price for each category (i.e. average price of detached homes, condos, etc.).

  • Reply
    Luxury Residence Canada 5 years ago

    As someone who lives off the industry, bring it on and down to realistic levels. The country isn’t going sustain this kind of bubble even though no one really knows what’s going on. We’ll see just how fear plays a part in the market this year with owners.

    • Reply
      Dusty 5 years ago

      Average folks cannot afford an average home = market correction.

      • Reply
        Bob 5 years ago

        “Average folks cannot afford an average home = market correction.”

        In Vancouver, that math hasn’t worked in 2 decades. The buyers driving the market at the top here are not average. They possess a mountain of cash acquired in an economic system very, very different to ours.

        There is strange price compression going on here now that the money driving the top of the market has backed off:

        A 1493 square foot condo just sold in East Van for $1,220,000 (ask was $1,299,900). In late 2015 that condo would have sold for ~ $800,000.

        A freehold house on a 4025 square foot lot in Point Grey is currently listed at $1,698,000 (2760 Blanca Street ). In late 2015 I’m thinking that lot would have sold for over $2,600,000.

        So in 3 years the price ratio of a full size lot on the west side to a condo on the east side has shrunk from 3/1 to 1.4/1.

        Thinking long term, 3/1 makes much more sense, and is much closer to historical norms. Something still has to give here.

  • Reply
    Gregory 5 years ago

    Focusing on Neighbourhoods like West Vancouver, and drilling down to Detached = does some yield some interesting results indeed. There was a time when West Van’s detached market was leading the charge, now after 10 years… it’s price appreciation is basically right in line

    Price Appreciation 3yr 5yr 10yr

    West Van Detached 2.6% 37.8% 111.7%
    GreaterVan Detached 18.2% 59.1% 110.0%

    The Whistler market has been a much more wild market–crashing, then posting a huge increase… 10 year detached prices in Whistler are up 68%, but the 3 year number is up 49% and the 5 year is up 86%

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