Vancouver Real Estate Inventory Improves, Median Sales Price Falls

Vancouver real estate just had a little froth shaved off last month. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data shows home prices jumped in March. Diving deeper, the benchmark climbed but median sale prices fell in the City. Mixed price indicators came as the hot market also showed signs of weakness. While inventory is still tight, it’s significantly looser than it was this time last year.

Greater Vancouver Home Price Growth Stalled

Greater Vancouver real estate prices are up according to the composite benchmark price. A typical home reached $1,360,500 in March, up 20.7% ($233,300) higher than a year before. In the City of Vancouver, Vancouver East hit $1,348,800, up 14.8% over the same period. Pricey Vancouver West came in at $1,469,200, rising a slightly more modest 10.3% from last year. All three of the above showed monthly and annual growth, but there were some signs that things are cooling.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price

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

Source: REBGV; Better Dwelling.

Annual growth either stalled or fell for the above three market measures. The rate for REBGV and Vancouver West remained the same as the previous month. Vancouver East actually pulled back, decelerating a point from February to March. The benchmark is arguably a little slow to respond in contrast to average and median sale prices.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price Change

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

Source: REBGV; Better Dwelling.

Median sale prices are showing a slowdown might be in the works as expectations cool. In Vancouver East, a monthly decline for detached (-$70,000), attached (-$16,500), and condo (-$28,800) median homes were observed. Vancouver West showed declines for detached (-$155,000), attached (-$169,950), and condos (-$17,500) as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that home prices are falling, but cheaper homes are for sale. It can be due to price drops or just fewer luxury homes are being listed.

Vancouver Home Sales Are Falling Faster Than New Inventory

Greater Vancouver real estate saw sales drop faster than inventory. There were 4,344 home sales in March, down 23.9% from last year. New listings of homes for sale reached 6,673, down 19.5% over the same period. That leaves the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) at 65.1% in March, down from 73.0% a year prior. When the SNLR falls between 40% and 60%, the market is considered balanced. At this level there’s still pressure for prices to rise, but it’s beginning to ease. 

Greater Vancouver real estate is still a tight and busy market, let’s not overstate the issue. However, inventory problems are being relieved fast, and annual price growth stalled. Median sales prices falling may also indicate the benchmark has been lagging. More confirmation would need to be seen to make that conclusion.

Higher interest rates are seen producing a further drag on buying activity. Though higher rates don’t slow inventory, meaning the market can enter balanced quickly. Some analysts believe slowing price growth will also motivate more sellers to list.

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    Alan 4 months ago

    Higher interest rates encourage saving and reward savers.

    Low interest rates encourage housing & asset bubbles and rewards the rich.

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