Vancouver Real Estate Sales Fall To 19 Year Low, Losses Get Larger

Canada’s most expensive real estate market continues its downward spiral. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) numbers show prices printed another month of declines April. Price declines were largely due to rising inventory, and the fewest sales for the month in almost two decades.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Prices Are Still Falling

The price of a home in Greater Vancouver is getting more affordable every month. The REBGV benchmark price of a “typical” home fell to $1,008,400 in April, down 8.5% from last year. In the city proper, Vancouver West fell to $1,225,000, down 10.7% lower than last year. Vancouver East fell to $1,016,000, down 8.8% from last year. Prices may be falling, but this is still the most expensive market in the country by a wide margin.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The trend appears to be heading towards larger declines for the benchmark. Last month’s 8.5% annual decline is the largest printed since June 2009. Prices have now officially rolled back to May 2017 levels, losing nearly two years of gains.

Greater Vancouver Reported The Fewest April Sales In 19 Years

Sales of Greater Vancouver real estate continue to slow to levels not seen in years. REBGV reported 1,829 sales in April, down 27.3% from last year. Sales are down over 61% from the 2016 record set for the month. Last month’s numbers were the fewest for April since 2000.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price Change

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Inventory For Greater Vancouver Real Estate Soars

The number of new listings for Greater Vancouver made a small decline. REBGV reported 5,742 new listings, up 16% from the month before. This represents a 1.3% decline when compared to the same month last year. The monthly rise was typical, but the annual decline meant more inventory sat around.

Greater Vancouver Composite Sales Vs. Listings

The number of homes sold vs total inventory in Greater Vancouver.

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The number of total listings available for sale reached a multi-year high. There were 14,357 active listings in April, up 12.4% from the month before. This represents a massive 46.2% increase compared to the same month last year. This is the highest level of inventory for resale since October 2014. It was also the most April inventory since that year.

Greater Vancouver’s real estate market continues to see price deterioration. Inventory is rising close to historically typical levels, relieving pressure to move higher. Sales however, are falling to the lowest level in almost two decades, sending prices lower. There’s very few signs that show a near term improvement to change the direction of the trend.

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  • Reply
    Ajay 4 years ago

    And some idiots were saying “Vancouver is just different”.

  • Reply
    s2u 4 years ago

    I find it funny that these bidding wars and absolutely bonkers buying practices normal for Vancouver in the past 5 years has all but disappeared, only to emerge in Ontario after the BC Provincial government and the AG David Eby started to crack down on Casinos (it was only recently in the last year that they weren’t allowed to accept hockeybag full of bulk cash.. they’d fill out a FINTRAC paper and wash their hands of blame).

    There is still a lot of work to be done to allow affordability to come back to Vancouver locals, but there’s a reason why we’re seeing 19 year sales lows in the West Coast. The money has dried up, and it looks like Ontario is open for ‘business’. I wish you folks in the east coast good luck, as I would not wish this environment of un-affordability on anyone.

    • Reply
      rainclouds 4 years ago

      news flash, Toronto is 1500km from “the east coast”……………Kinda like saying Calgary is on the west coast……..geography is hard

      • Reply
        carlton 4 years ago

        “geography is hard” – Bone head comment, how does this help anyone? got anything of value to add?

  • Reply
    RentFool 4 years ago

    Every market cycles now is the time to rent.

    Money laundering or not the rental price of brand new 2bd condos in both van and toronto are similar just outisde the downtown core(2500 plus minus 100).

    1 bed rents have gone up so much in toronto (2k+) it makes sense to rent 2bd and shell out a few hundred more. 1 bed in van, can still find 1600/month for brand new condo in burnaby/metrotown.

    In my toronto building the owner of an awesome 3bd penthouse is struggling to rent it out for 3500 lol.

    Let the speculators/chinese politiburo/money launderers fight it out and be greatful there are still plenty of deals to rent.

    Dont get caught up in fomo with the bagholders, the best time to buy an asset is when everyone hates it.

  • Reply
    Derek 4 years ago

    And what’s really scary is not knowing where the actual bottom is? I think we all knew what the ceiling prices were, but it’s next to near impossible to know where the actual bottom prices are in a overly bear market. No absorption in the Vancouver market means it’s not a good time to sell your place, or buy another place. You could end up in negative equity overnight if your financing.

  • Reply
    John Fraser 4 years ago

    Isn’t that just wonderful for the people who purchased in 2017. The old “unintended consequences” of government interference in a market that will eventually correct itself. But of course that is not the NDP way…they’re smarter than the market. 😎

  • Reply
    Watching a Train Wreck 4 years ago

    I live in Vancouver and have watched this slow motion train wreck on the way up and the inevitable crash. The major problem that Vancouver has is the local lower mainland economy is more dependant on residential real estate than any city in the world at over 30%. As real estate agents, mortgage brokers, contractors, trades people lose their jobs they have to sell their houses and move to find employment. It is a vicious self reenforcing cycle that results in a 20% – 30% unemployment rate and the same amount of houses and condos empty. The reality is Vancouver is a one industry town…..real estate. There are few technology or manufacturing jobs. I see a minimum drop of 70% which would still make Vancouver very expensive compared to other North American cities. If we drop by 90% we are about in line with what our local economy and wages can support. I know several local people who make less than $60,000 who have taken HELOCs to invest in condos. They have 5 or 6 properties and on paper are worth over 4 million. They spend like drunken sailors in retail stores, restaurants, car dealerships, etc. because as every Vancouverite knows real estate always go up. The banks support all this insane lending and the resulting bubble. The party is now over and Vancouver and BC will pay the price for having the total economy dependant on real estate. I don’t see why people can’t see this.

  • Reply
    friend of ROMANIA COUNTRY BREAD STEVESTON 4 years ago

    I’m the person who drafted and proposed the 15% foreign buyers tax back in 2015.
    Attn young Vancouverites: YOU’RE WELCOME

  • Reply
    herry 4 years ago

    We have an election in October. The liberals will prop this market until then. Its game over.

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