Vancouver Real Estate Sales Rise, But Fall Short of Typical As Prices Slide Further

More people are jumping back into the Greater Vancouver real estate market. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) sales made a huge annual increase in July. The increase still fell short of typical volumes for the month, helping to send prices even lower.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Prices Are Still Falling

Greater Vancouver real estate prices are still falling. REBGV reported a benchmark price of $995,200 in July, down 9.4% from last year. In the City, the benchmark for Vancouver East fell to $1,034,500, down 9.5% from last year. Vancouver West saw its benchmark fall to $1,222,800, down 11.0% from last year. The decline is large, but did get a little smaller than they were last month.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

The annual rate of growth made a small uptick for the first time in over a year. The 9.4% decline across Greater Vancouver was a small improvement from the month before. Considering it’s just one uptick after seeing growth decelerate since February 2018, it’s not huge news. Prices are up just 5.0% from 3 years ago, working out to a 1.64% compound annual growth rate. Prices are down 9.85% from the peak reached in May 2018.

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price Change

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Sales Rip Higher

Greater Vancouver real estate sales saw a big increase, but fell short of typical volume. REBGV reported 2,557 sales in July, up 23.11% from last year. Worth mentioning that last year was the slowest July for REBGV sales in 18 years. Sales for the month are 12% below the average over the past 10 years. Big improvement from last year, but not quite back to normal volumes.

Greater Vancouver Composite Sales Vs. Listings

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

Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Listings Hit 5 Year High For July

New listings of Greater Vancouver real estate for sale fell. REBGV reported 4,613 new listings in July, down 2.9% from the month before. This represents a decrease of 3.3% compared to the same month last year. The decline wasn’t enough to stop total inventory from rising however.

The total number of listings, a.k.a. active listings, made a big jump from last year. REBGV reported 14,240 active listings, down 4.9% from the month before. This represents a 17.3% increase compared to the same month last year. That makes this the most July inventory since 2014. It’s not a huge amount of inventory, but it’s more than the market has seen recently.

Sales rising faster than inventory led to an increase in the sales to active listings ratio (SALR). REBGV composite SALR hit 18% in July, up from 17.1% during the same month last year. The market is considered balanced in this range, when prices are just right for demand. It’s always best to get secondary (or maybe third, fourth, and fifth) confirmation in a fast market.

Greater Vancouver real estate sales made a very large bounce, but it wasn’t as great as it sounds. The bounce is compared to a July with the second fewest sales in 18 years – a low bar to clear. This is highlighted by the fact that price declines were only mildly softened by the drop. There are positive signs, but it’s generous to call this a bottom or recovery.

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  • Reply
    Travis Hunter 5 years ago

    Worth a mention that most of the softening from prices seems to be from a rising price floor in the suburbs. Cheap markets pushing higher, not necessarily in city prices moving higher.

    • Reply
      Audrey Rowe 5 years ago

      Can you elaborate what a “rising price floor” means in this context?

  • Reply
    Ethan Wu 5 years ago

    Any idea how much of the demand is pull over from new construction buyers that had their projects cancelled like in Toronto?

    • Reply
      Audrey Rowe 5 years ago

      Where can I read about the cancellation issue in Toronto? It makes a lot of sense. If you were waiting for your new construction to be built and it’s cancelled, you would just look for a recently completed unit since you already had the 20% down for the completion.

  • Reply
    Null 5 years ago

    Is anyone else semi-suspicious that this is the first time July is bigger than June? I can’t find any reason for a delayed event. Did most of the contracts happen in the first week? If so, I wouldn’t put it past agents to game the system that way. Completely legal, but it’s not like they can do that multiple times over the next year.

    • Reply
      Harvey P 5 years ago

      May and June were low and realtors have been actively spreading the message that the market has hit bottom (Hey everybody! This is the correction you’ve all heard about!) and that they should buy now before prices go up again (Don’t wait! You’ll miss your chance!).

    • Reply
      Joseph 5 years ago

      Null, if July was indeed bigger than June, EVERYONE should be suspicious. This doesn’t just happen out of the blue, otherwise, it would be a regular occurrence.

      Just reinforces the market and where it stands.

  • Reply
    Rana 5 years ago

    If prices don’t go down further it won’t go up either in next few years

  • Reply
    Matt 5 years ago

    How much of this increase in transactions has to do with political unrest in Hong Kong, and residents there making the move to Vancouver?

    It seems like a timely coincidence – that Hong Kong is in political turmoil, and around the same month we see a big uptick in Vancouver real estate transactions.

    • Reply
      Jin 5 years ago

      Zero to none? Hong buyers may be citing political instability as one of the reasons they’re interested, but there’s no additional “rush.” Sales in the province to non-residents are actually close to the lowest it has ever been, around 1.5%.

  • Reply
    Ima Faque 5 years ago

    Despite a small recent uptick the IMF just issued a warning on Canada’s property market… read more about it here:

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