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DEXTER REPORT - July Market: The Missing Middle Mess Amid Continued Low Supply

Highlights of the July Dexter Report 

 

  • Home prices are virtually unchanged in the past year

  • Total sales in Greater Vancouver are up nearly 30% from July 2022

  • Wily buyers take advantage of a summer sales slump 

  • There are now 16,400 properties for sale across Metro Vancouver

  • Vancouver density plan invites higher taxes for owners     


On July 25 the City of Vancouver recommended a massive rezoning of single-family neighbourhoods to create more of what is known as the “missing middle” housing. The province wants to make such ideological-driven rezoning mandatory in every city in British Columbia with legislation promised to come this fall.

The Vancouver concept would allow four to six homes to be built on most RS-zoned lots, or 60 percent of the city’s buildable land, according to the ‘senior green building planner’ for Vancouver. It also restricts the size of any new detached house. The policy, though, has forgotten the major player in the plan: detached house owners, many of whom want no part of it.

The City of Victoria passed a similar rezoning plan in January of this year. Seven months later not a single application has come forward from a detached house owner willing to turn their private land into a multi-unit rental complex.


Many detached house owners are not willing to risk their financial future and peace of mind by jumping on board a plan that they fear, rightly, will transform their quiet communities and expose them to the federal capital gains tax that could grab up to 50% of their real estate equity for investment properties.


Consider this. The average price of a Vancouver Westside detached house in July was nearly $4.3 million. If sold as a paid-for private residence, the capital gains tax would be zero. But, if the owner divided the house into four rentals and lived in one unit and then sold the property for the same price, the owner would be responsible for capital gains tax as the owner of the income-producing property.

As well, under Vancouver’s missing middle plan, the detached house owner could only produce a “below-market rental unit” or a secure rental unit (which means forever); or pay a “set-rate bonus payment” for the increased density as a market rental. There is no definition of what the bonus payment would be, but currently, in the Cambie area, it averages $135 per square foot for the extra space in a new development.


The house owner would also be subject to the GST on any new construction; would be required to build any new homes under Vancouver’s expensive and confusing “passive house” energy regulations; and would be subject to higher property taxes and utility costs yet would only be allowed to increase rents by 2% per year under provincial regulations. Private detached house owners are somehow, miraculously, expected to deliver what seasoned developers, city planners and other bureaucrats cannot: low-cost rentals in Vancouver.


The City of Vancouver will present its missing middle plan to public hearings in September. Expect a lot of discussion. 

 

Prices are not skyrocketing. 


There is a lot of media noise being tossed around about “skyrocketing” Greater Vancouver home prices. While true the Benchmark Price is up about 10% from January to July 2023, to $1,210,700, prices are just 0.5% higher compared to a year ago and in a dozen Greater Vancouver communities – including Burnaby North, Coquitlam, Tsawwassen and West Vancouver – composite prices are lower now than in July 2022. On the bellwether Westside of Vancouver, the July benchmark detached house price, at $3,458,000, was up just 1% from a year ago.

The benchmark condo price this July is $771,600, up 2.7% from last year, but condo prices in East Vancouver, Burnaby North and Burnaby East, arguably the most active condo markets in Greater Vancouver, are up less than 1% from July of last year, which should help convince more buyers to take advantage of the summer slowdown to get into the Greater Vancouver market now.

After peaking in May, sales have declined month by month since buyers have now faced two straight increases in the Bank of Canada rate. Greater Vancouver's total sales in July, at 2,455, were down from 2,988 in June to the lowest level since March. In the Fraser Valley, July sales fell nearly 30% from June 2023 and benchmark prices are up an average of 1% from a year ago. But even with the decline in sales transactions, buyers still want to buy, and many sellers are not desperate to sell.


As the summer continues, there will be more opportunities than we’ve seen over the last four months for buyers. With many people away or taking a break from the market, it’s the prime time to be a buyer. Inventories have increased, giving more options, especially in some areas.


The increase in the Bank of Canada rate and fixed rates bumping up over the last month or so have pulled some buyers from the market. Those with 60 to 90-day rate holds are trying to buy before those rate holds expire while others are content to wait out the increases in borrowing costs. With travel and the many local events returning occupying many people’s time, real estate is losing some of the attention it normally would get. Of course, the lack of resale inventory continues to challenge the market and while we wouldn’t expect to see it increase during the summer months, the number of new listings dropped while absorption rates remained close to the levels we’ve seen this year, and in some areas increased. July saw 4,757 new listings after June produced 5,466 new listings after there were 5,776 new listings in May. Year over year, new listings were higher with 4,067 new listings produced last July which is helping would-be buyers in the market.


Don’t expect the higher interest rates to result in more listings. Sales of residential land to developers have fallen 80% in the past year, largely due to rising financing costs, which will stunt delivery of new strata homes into next year, at least. As well, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the Federal Government have issued guidelines for Canadian banks to help homeowners facing significant increases in mortgage costs. Measures such as waiving penalties to break mortgages and increasing amortization periods to lower payments are on the table. 


Banks do not want to own homes, so don’t expect increased rates to lead to a major rise in mortgage foreclosures or distressed sales. 

Instead, serious buyers should be ignoring summer temptations and shopping through the 10,301 active listings now on the market. Buyers can take advantage of a shallow slump and good selection to secure a property now.


Regional numbers for July 2023 


Greater Vancouver: Total transactions reached 2,455 in July 2023, a 28.9% increase from the 1,904 sales recorded in July 2022. This was 15.6% below the 10-year seasonal average and the lowest level in five months. Total inventory at month end, 10,a301 properties, has moved to a 4-month supply, with detached up to 6 months and into balanced market territory. Townhouses and condos are still at a 3-month supply, though price is key for buyers right now. Looking at year-over-year, sales-to-listings ratios are up while condos remained the same. Overall, the 52% absorption in July is showing strength considering the increase in fixed and variable-rate mortgages. The Benchmark Price for all residential properties is currently $1,210,700. This represents a 0.5 per cent increase over July 2022 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to June 2023.

Fraser Valley: July new listings, at 2,855, were down 16.6% compared to June 2023 but 19.7% higher than July 2022 levels, and virtually on par with the 10-year average. Active listings climbed by 4.3% over June, bringing the total inventory for sale to 6,199 properties. Sales totalled 1,368 in July, a decrease of 29.3% from June 2023, but still 37.8% above July 2022. Benchmark detached and townhouse prices were down about 2% from a year ago, with detached at $1,543,300, townhouses at $850,300 , while condo apartment prices increased 0.8% year-to-year at $555,500.

Vancouver Westside: Total sales in July, at 438, were down 17% from a month earlier and 19% higher than July 2022. Despite a 10% surge in benchmark detached house prices since January, prices are up just 1% from a year ago at $3,458,000. Competition is fierce for anything under $3 million. In Kitsilano earlier this week there were only 8 detached homes listed below $3 million, and just 4 in Point Grey, with multiple offers being seen. Active listings were 2,366 at month end compared to 2,453 at that time last year and 2,249 at the end of June. New listings in July were down 7% compared to June 2023. Condo apartments dominated July sales with 325 transactions, and benchmarked at $866,300, up 4% from a year ago. The supply of total residential listings is up to 5-month supply and sales to listings ratio is 43% in this balanced market.

Vancouver East Side: The East Side story in July included a 12% dip in sales from a month earlier and a 21% decline from May 2023, with 286 transactions. Detached house prices flatlined from June 2023, at $1,897,200, but are up 3.7% from a year ago. Condo prices are just 0.5% higher than in July 2022, at $717,700. Active Listings were at 1,082 at month end compared to 1,191 at that time last year and 1,082 at the end of June. New listings in July were down 18% compared to June 2023. This is a seller’s market with just a 4-month supply and sales-to-listing ratio of 57%. 

North Vancouver: North Van remains a strong seller’s market, especially in the condo sector, which has only a 2-month supply of inventory and a 68% sales-to-listing ratio. The benchmark condo price is $814,400, which has not moved much (up 2%) in a year, despite the robust sales. A total of 185 properties sold in July and sales have tracking down since May. Active listings were at 530 at month end compared to 573 at that time last year and 553 at the end of June; New Listings in July were down 21% compared to June 2023.

West Vancouver: Total sales were 47 in July as the summer siesta affected even the most prestigious market in Metro. This is a buyer’s market with more than 600 active listings and sales ratio in the mid-20% range and a 13-month supply of properties for sale. The Benchmark Price is a north of $2.6 million and the typical detached house sold in July for $3,241,000, down 4.2% from a year earlier.

Richmond: Richmond should be benefitting from Canada’s immigration surge but there is a disconnect in Ottawa: there is a foreign homebuyer ban for two year and no one in charge apparently realized that 500,000 newcomers may need a place to live. There is little relief in sight: when the federal cabinet was shuffled the former immigration minister became the new housing minister. Richmond, the most multi-ethnic enclave in B.C., has seen housing sales drop 26% over the past two months to 294 in July and new listings were down 15% from a month earlier. This remains a seller’s market, though, with just a 3-month supply, a sales ratio of 53% and the Benchmark Price up 2.6% year-over-year to $1,118,300.

Burnaby East: Sales in July, at 47, were lower than even three years ago and new listings dropped sharply 39% from June 2023. Still, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 64% from a limited supply, this qualifies as a seller’s market. Condos are the market maker here, as in most of Burnaby, but the benchmark condo price is frozen, rising just 0.7% over the last 12 months to $803,700 in July.

Burnaby North: Total sales in July were 160, down from 170 in June 2023, but, up from 29% compared to July 2022. Active Listings were at 481 at month end compared to 475 at that time last year and 440 at the end of June. A seller’s market with a 3-month supply and a sales ratio of 55%, detached houses are the only sector posting year-over-year price gains, with detached prices up 2.4% to just over $2 million. Townhouse prices, by comparison, are down 2.7% year-over-year and condo benchmarks have flatlined at $747,000. The sales ratio is 55% but this more a reflection of supply than demand.

Burnaby South: Total sales wilted 40% over the past two months and July was far from hot with transactions at 139, lower even than in July of 2019 but up 10% from July 2022. The Benchmark Price inched up 1.1% from June 2023 to $1,135,000. There is a tight supply of 457 properties for sale and the sales ratio is running at 59%, the lowest July pace in three years.

New Westminster: The secret is out as buyers have found that the Royal City is one of the best-priced markets in Metro Vancouver. Detached sales, at 119, are up from June 2023 and up 127% year-over-year with a 97% absorption rate. The condo market saw a growth in new listing in July compared to June but, like townhomes, remain in a seller’s market with 2-month supply. The Benchmark Price in New Westminster is $846,400, up 2% from a year ago.

Coquitlam: Sales in July, at 223, were down 16% from a month earlier and 21% from May, but up 57% year-over-year in this seller’s market. The big mover is townhouses, with sales up 157% year-over-year and active listings down from June. The townhouse benchmark is $1,061,900, down nearly 2% from a year ago and it dropped a further 1% in July compared to a month earlier. Detached house prices are holding firm at $1,795,400, as is the overall sales-to-listing ratio of 55%,

Port Moody: Two big residential developments have apparently been approved, including the three-tower Westport Village on the former Andres Wine site, that has been in 18 years in planning. It will supply hundreds of new housing units, eventually, to a market with just a 2-month supply of listings. With total sales of 85 in July, down from one and two months earlier, and a sales ratio of 77%, this is a strong seller’s market. The Benchmark Price is down 6.5% from a year ago at $1,121,500.

Port Coquitlam: Buyers scrambling for more affordability can’t find enough supply in the lowest-priced TriCities market where the Benchmark Price in July was $975,800. Condos are down to a one-month supply. The lack of inventory, just 172 total active listings, has stunted sales, which dropped to 73 in July, the lowest level for that month in at least four years, despite a sales-to-listing-ration of 60%.

Pitt Meadows: The sales-to-listing ratio was 52% in this seller’s market where buyers are chasing too-few listings. With new listings falling, there were only 74 properties on the market at the end of July after 24 sales in the month. Despite a price rally this year, the benchmark detached house price is just 2.4% higher than a year earlier, at $1,355,900. Townhouse prices are down 1.8%, year-over-year, to $836,6000.

Maple Ridge: Total sales have been tracking down since May, but reached 143 transactions in July, up 32% from July 2022. At $739,600, Maple Ridge has the lowest priced townhouses in Metro Vancouver. The benchmark detached house is down 2.4% from a year ago, at $1,307,400. With 622 active listings and a sales success ratio of 50%, this is a seller’s market with stable pricing.

Ladner: There were 22 fresh townhome listings in July compared to just 7 in June 2023, as the benchmark price increased 4.1% from a year earlier to $987,500.
Detached sales suffered from higher lending rates, though as sales dropped to 14 from 23 transactions in June 2023 even as the benchmark price jumped 16% so far this year to $1,50,2000. Prices are still slightly below a year earlier. There are 102 total active listings and a sales ratio of 45% in this seller’s market.

Tsawwassen: Buyers aren’t the problem in Tsawwassen, with an overall sales ratio of 58% and condominium absorption up to 69% from 63% in June. The problem is supply with new listings dropping 9% from June 2023, and just 161 active listings available. The Benchmark Price is down about 2% across the board compared to a year earlier, to $1,222,000, with detached houses at $1,550,600, despite price increase since February. This is considered a balanced market.

Surrey: Detached house sales fell 34% in July from a year earlier but were up 30% from June in a perplexing rally considering recent interest rate hikes. Detached prices, however, have barely moved, up 1.1% from July 2022 to $1,683,300. Townhouse and condo sales are down double-digits from a year ago, at, respectively, $893,000 and $555,000 in July. The Fraser Valley Real Estate chairman summed up the Valley market well: “Summer is typically a slower period for the real estate sector and the higher interest rates are contributing to the market slowdown,” said Narinder Bains “We’re seeing less traffic as buyers and sellers put a pause on decisions and we expect this trend to continue until the fall cycle.”

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May 2023 DEXTER Report: More competitive market emerging for sellers

Highlights of the May 2023 Dexter Housing Report

 

• May average home price $200,000 higher than in January

• May home sales-to-listing ratio a sizzling 59%

• Total sales the highest this year and higher than in May 2022

• Surrey detached new listings were up 53% from April 2023

• Overall higher listings may point to a price plateau this summer 

 

After five months that defied most predictions and pundits, the Metro Vancouver housing market has righted itself - as we’ve been saying the last few months, while quickly shifting to a seller’s market. But the potential is there to be more balanced between buyers and sellers as we sail into the summer.


May exposed a slight tilt in that balance in favour of buyers, with sellers about to face a more competitive environment with the increase in new listings that happened in May. And depending on what happens with the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement on Wednesday, that could change some buyers’ ability to compete.


Back in January and before – when the headlines were full of predictions of a recession and a continued housing downturn - we urged homebuyers to jump into the market to take advantage of the dip. Since then, the average home price in Greater Vancouver has shot up by $200,000 and the sales-to-listing ratio has risen from 29% to 61% in April before settling to 59% in May, close to the hottest markets in 2021 and early 2022.

 

We based our forecast not only on the strength of the regional economy but on decades of experience as real estate professionals at Dexter Realty. We have seen deep downturns and heady highs before, so we understand the patterns and how quickly it can change.

 

While May 2023 marked the fifth straight month-over-month increase in sale and price, it also sent the first signals of a chance for a market shift.

 

While we are still in a seller’s market in most areas and property types, if the increase in new listings continues, this will favour buyers. And perhaps some buyers are waiting for the June 7 Bank of Canada announcement, which could affect mortgage rates.

 

The evidence is in the number of sales and listings in May, and when they occurred. It is all about momentum.


In May 2023 a total of 3,411 residential properties sold in Greater Vancouver, not only the highest sales of this year but the first month in 2023 that sales were higher than the same time a year earlier and the first time this trend occurred in the last few years. 


The average (not benchmark) home price in May reached $1,315,617, the highest level since April 2022 and up nearly 3 per cent from May of 2022.  


This would all point to a seller’s market, except that, unlike previous months this year, May sales were slightly lower in the second half of the month compared to the previous two-week period to start May. At the same time, new listings increased, rising from 2,909 at mid-month to 5,776 at month’s end, compared to 4,399 in April 2023. May tends to be the most active month of the spring market, so we could see that shift come June. 


In the Fraser Valley, new listings in May, at 3,533, were 42% higher than in April (with detached listings up a startling 61%) while sales increased just 10% month-over-month to 1,711. 


So, as May ended, we were seeing parallel momentums: many more listings and perhaps the peak of sales.


While the last few months have been characterized by multiple offers and increasing prices, we will now see more competition among sellers. It will take many more listings to ease the competition amongst buyers but May was a start.


With the increase in listings comes some great opportunities for buyers. Work with an experienced REALTOR® who can sniff out the right property that’s gone under the radar. This isn’t 2021 when prices went wild. There is now a sense of control, and, for some properties, buyers are not willing to compete or take on the price that sellers are asking. 


Buyers must practice patience now, which is difficult after months of low inventory. We are going to see listings increase, the sales-to-listing ratio settling down and more competitive pricing offered by sellers. In short, hopefully we’ll see some balance come into the market for the first time in three years. 


Of course, all real estate markets are unique, and not all will follow the same trajectory immediately.


There were 9,293 active listings at month end, above the 8,790 at the end of April. Yet some areas had fewer active listings in May than a month earlier, so it’s important to look locally when doing direct comparisons. 


Vancouver East saw a slight uptick in the sales-to-listings ratio while North Vancouver maintained its high rate at 66%. Both locations were called out by the provincial government for not doing enough to supply housing in its recently released list of the municipalities that aren’t building enough homes. Port Moody, on the heels of less sales in May compared to April, saw its absorption rate fall from 91% to 65%.  


Ladner led the way in May with a 108% sales-to-listings ratio as there were more sales than new listings there. Not surprisingly, Delta was also cited by the province for not supplying enough homes. 

 

Overall Greater Vancouver remains with 3-months’ supply of listings – and with the current number of sales we’d need to double the number of active listings to get into a truly balanced market, but listings are finally increasing.


Best advice to buyers: Work with your trusted REALTOR®, get pre-approved for financing, narrow your search and be ready when your agent finds that ideal property. Do your homework and keep within your budget. 


Best advice to sellers: Prices have risen 1.5% per month this year, but do not expect that to be automatic. A property priced right will attract a slew of potential buyers (it is not uncommon to see 40 people through a weekend open house) but if it is priced above the market or not showhouse ready, buyers now have the option to move on to the next new listings.

 

A summary of the regional markets: 

 

Greater Vancouver: A total of 3,411 residential properties sold in May, up 24% from a month earlier and, for the first time this year, higher than in the same month in 2022, when 2,947 transactions were counted. The surge in prices surprised us all, even the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). “Back in January, few people would have predicted prices to be up as much as they are – ourselves included,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics said. “Our forecast projected prices to be up by about 2% at year-end. Instead, home prices are already up about 6% or more across all home types.”


As of May 23, the composite benchmark price was $1,118,000, up 1.3% from a month earlier; the detached house price was up 1.8% to $ $1,953,600. While townhouse prices remained virtually the same as in April, at just over $1 million, condo apartment prices were up 1.1% month to month to $760,800.


Active Listings were at 9,293 at month end compared to 8,790 at the end of April; new listings in May were up 31% compared to April 2023. Month’s supply of total residential listings is steady at 3 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 59% compared to 62% in April 2022 and 45% in May 2022.

 

Fraser Valley:  Total Valley sales reached 1,711 in May 2023, up 25% from May 2022 and 10% higher than in April 2023. With new listings up 42% from April, there were total active listings of 5,588 at the end of May, 20% higher than a month before. The benchmark composite home price in May was $961,702, up 6.7% from April 2023 and 3% higher than in May 2022. 

 

Vancouver Westside: Metro’s bellwether housing market saw 624 sales in May, up 33% from a month earlier and 7% higher than in May 2022. The May 2023 benchmark detached house price has increased 5.7% (or $193,000) in the past six months and took another 0.5% step up from April to $3,338,800. Townhouses sold for $1,457,500, down 3% from April, and condo apartments sold in May 2023 at a benchmark of $849,800, up 4.8% over the last three months. Active listings were 2,115 at month end compared to 2,460 at that time last year and 1,992 at the end of April, but new listings in May were up 40% compared to April 2023. With a 3-month supply of total residential listings, the sales-to- listings ratio is a healthy 53% compared to 56% in April 2023 and 46% in May 2022. 

 

Vancouver East Side: Vancouver is one of the cities named as needing to increase new home starts and it is easy to understand, since East Vancouver, like the Westside, also has just a 3-month supply and a sales-to-listing ratio above 50%. The problem is new homes are more expensive, largely because of government fees and taxes, which have increased sharply. A recent study showed a typical new $840,000 condo apartment in Vancouver includes $327,565 in government costs. An Eastside resale condo had a benchmark price of $707,000 in May, up 1.9% from a month earlier, while townhouses were at $1,109,100, the same as in April, and detached houses sold in May for at a benchmark of $1,822,700, up 2.5% from a month before. Total May sales were 360, up 35% from a month earlier and 13% higher than in May 2022. Active Listings were at 1,006 at month end compared to 1,173 at that time last year and 939 at the end of April. This is a full-on seller’s market.

 

North Vancouver: Total housing sales in May were 288, up 32% from a month earlier and 3% above May 2022. The composite benchmark home price is $1,397,500, up 5.5% from six months ago and 1.8% higher than in April 2023. While new listings increased 32% from April, total active listings were 514 at the end of May, representing just a 2-months’ supply of housing, with townhouses down to a 1-month inventory. The sales-to-listing ratio has held steady at 66% for two months. The benchmark price for a detached house is now just 4% below May 2022, and, at $2,269.400, the highest level this year.

 

West Vancouver: The benchmark price of a detached house in West Vancouver in May was nearly unchanged from six months ago, at $3,111,600. Total housing sales, mostly detached houses, were 80 in May, up 16% from April 2023 and 16% higher than in May 2022. With 529 total active listings, there is a 7-month supply in a balanced market where the sales-to-listing ratio is 35%.

 

Richmond: Two large strata projects in Richmond totaling 1,200 units have been cancelled, the latest the 400-condo Minora Square on May 26, where pre-sale buyer deposits are being refunded. Perhaps a resale condo is a safer bet, since Richmond has also raised new condo development cost charges to around $25 per square foot. In May, a total of 396 homes sold in Richmond, leaving a total inventory of 1,043 properties (a drop from 1,602 at the end of April), or about a 3-month supply, with a 61% sales-to-listing ratio. Prices are rising sharply. The benchmark detached house price is up 7.7% since December 2022, at $2,189,600; and the benchmark condo price in the same period is up 9.6% to $747,00. Townhouse prices are 0.2% higher than a year ago, at $1,119,900.

 

Burnaby East: Burnaby East saw 39 home sales in May, up from both April 2023 and May 2022 and it now has 90 active listings. With a sales ratio of 57%, the benchmark home price is up 4% since the start of the year, at $1,159,600. This is a seller’s market with just a 2-month supply of homes on the market.

 

Burnaby North: Burnaby has the most new housing in the works across the region, with a total of 10,630 new strata units envisioned in four massive projects from Brentwood to the Edmonds area, according to an open house May 30 at Burnaby City Hall. All four sites require rezoning. However, Burnaby also wants to increase development fees to help cover the cost of an extended array of infrastructure, including firehalls, RCMP police stations, homeless shelters and “composting and organic processing facilities,” which will add to new strata prices. The new homes are needed. Burnaby North has just a 2-month supply of active listings and they are selling at a pace of 63% per month. The benchmark condo price is now $805,800 and townhouses sell for $902,200, both up about 6% from the first of this year. 

 

Burnaby South: Total units sold in May were 233, up 8% from a month earlier and 43% higher than in May 2022. The benchmark composite home price is up 5.5% since January 1, at $1,112,300; and detached house prices are up 8% in the same period to $2,177,100, the highest in Burnaby. New listings in May were up 20% compared to April 2023 but down 7% compared to May 2022. The supply of total residential listings, at 404, is steady at a 2 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) with a sales-to-listings ratio of 73%. 

 

New Westminster: The benchmark price for a detached house in the Royal City was $1,525,800 in May, up 5% from the start of 2023, but the overall composite price remains among the lowest in Metro, at $827,600. A total of 142 residential properties sold in May, 26% higher than a month earlier and up 27% from May 2022.  Active Listings were at 258 at month end compared to 313 at that time last year and 238 at the end of April. This is about a 2-month supply as the sales-to-new-listing ratio has been running at 70% in both May and April. 

 

Coquitlam: Total May sales reached 284, up 35% from April 2023 and 16% higher compared to May 2022. Active Listings were at 555 at month end compared to 642 at that time last year and 495 at the end of April; new listings in May were up 38% compared to April 2023, perhaps because sellers see what is happening. The benchmark home price has increased 4.7% so far this year to $1,114,900 and the sales-to-listing ratio has been over 60% for four months. This is a strong seller’s market.

 

Port Moody: This Tri-City community has a history of slow development, and it is on the list of cities where the province wants to see more housing starts. Port Moody now charges $33,453 per detached or duplex lot in development fees and tacks from $11 to $14 per square onto new strata units, so that will add to new home prices. Right now there is just a 2-month supply with only 184 active listings. Benchmark home prices are still 9% below May 2022, at $1,112,300. The sales to listing ratio, though, was 65% in May and 91% in April, so supply could disappear quickly. 

 

Port Coquitlam: Total units sold in May were 91, up from 76 in April 2023 and the very same at in May 2022, but the composite benchmark home price is down 6.9% year-over-year, at $951,800. Detached houses were benchmarked in May at $1,392,100, up 8.5% from January 1, but still 8% lower than a year ago. While new listings in May were up 89% from April 2023, there are only 153 active listings, enough to last about two months, with a sales-to-listing ratio running at 62%.

 

Pitt Meadows: Just 30 homes sold in May, but that was 44% better than April 2023 and higher than the 28 sales in May 2022. Detached home prices, while lower than last year, have soared 10% from the start of this year to a 2023 high of $1,274,800 in May. Active Listings were at 71 at month end compared to 84 at that time last year and at the end of April; New Listings in May were down 17% compared to April 2023 and the hot sales-to-listings ratio of 86% shows the current supply may not last long.

 

Maple Ridge: With 218 sales in May, total transactions were up 35% from a month earlier and 23% higher than in May 2022. The benchmark detached house price has increased 7.6% over the past three months to $1,261,700, with townhouse prices up to $768,100 after a 2.4% increase from a month earlier. The post-COVID slump in Maple Ridge appears over, with a sales-to-listing ratio in May of 63% and 62% in April in what has become a seller’s market with 539 active listings available.

 

Ladner: Delta is another of the Metro region cities called out by the province for not building enough new homes. Ladner, for example, only has 85 active listings (down from 100 at the end of April) and the May sales-to-new-listing ratio was 108% and new listings were down 14% from April 2023, while sales increased 26% to 54 transactions. The benchmark home price in Ladner is up 7.2% since the start of the year, at $1,144,200. There were more strata sales than new listings in May, which saw townhouse benchmark prices rise 10.4% so far this year to $973,800. Condo benchmark prices are at $704,800 in May, up less than 2% since January, however. 

 

Tsawwassen: Total units sold in May were 62 up 15% compared to April 2023, up 44% higher than in May 2022. Active listings were steady at 166 at month end compared to 165 at that time last year and 167 at the end of April; New Listings in May were up 23% compared to April 2023. Total residential listings are at a 3 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) and the sales to listings ratio of 68% compares to 73% in April 2023. The benchmark home price in May was $1,221,900, up 5.6% from the first of this year but nearly 9% below the price in May 2022. Townhouse sales are particularly slow and the benchmark price of a townhouse, at $1,005,700 in May, has barely budged in two months.


Surrey: B.C.’s second-biggest city saw 855 total sales in May, almost evenly divided among detached, townhouse and condo properties, but there the similarity ends. Detached sales, at 284, were up 44% from a year earlier and 11.4% from April 2023. The average detached price was $1,784,000 in May, up 8% from a month earlier. There were 246 townhouse sales, up 8% from a year earlier and 14% higher than a month earlier, while the average townhouse price was up just 0.3% from April 2023 to $878,396. Condo apartment sales, at 225, were up 1.8% year to year, and 1% month to month, while the average price was up 3.3% from last year and 6.6% from April 2023, at $560,180.

Read

DEXTER Mid-May Market Report: Yes, you can sell your home!

While the temperature outside has heated up, so has the real estate market. Month by month so far in 2023, the number of sales per month has continued to surpass the month before.


And now with a noticeable increase in the number of new listings in May, sales are growing at a quicker pace, and we are likely to see the number of sales in Greater Vancouver surpass 3,000 for the first time since April 2022. And with that, the number of new listings is on pace to be the highest by month in the region since May of last year. It appears that sellers are taking notice of what their neighbours are now able to sell at as a result of the number of buyers chasing those too few listings and therefore are deciding to jump into the new listings pool. As we said over the last few months, if there were more listings, there would be more sales. And that’s exactly what we are seeing in May. Although with absorption rates increasing still, the stockpile of active listings is only slowly growing, which will keep Greater Vancouver in seller’s market territory. 

At the mid-point of May, there have been 1,759 sales in Greater Vancouver, much more than the 1,227 sales at the mid-point of April and the 1,184 that sold at the mid-point of March. And we’ve finally swung to the other side with there being more sales year over year for the first time since 2021. This will likely be the highest number of sales in a month since March 2022 and if the market continues to accelerate, the highest number of sales since mid-2021.
 

The shift in the market that started in January has fully taken hold. No longer can we compare this market to 2019, it’s taken a life of its own and one that seems to be showing buyers eager to purchase real estate and sellers to trade into a different property. Multiple offers continue to be more common than not. 


At mid-month in Greater Vancouver there have been 2,909 new listings so far, compared with 2,182 new listings at the mid-point of April which was just slightly above the 2,154 new listings at the mid-point of March. And while the amount of sales year over year was higher, the anticipation of the number of new listings being higher year over year didn’t happen. Last year in May at the mid-point, there were 3,210 new listings which took us to 6,491 for the month of May. While this May will be the first time, we see over 5,000 new listings in a month since last June, we won’t be at the lofty highs we were early last year and in 2021. But it is a significant improve on the lack of listings we’ve seen so far this year. Hopefully that carries into the next few months to provide some much-needed supply to the pace of buying that is currently happening.  And even if we compared to 2019 when the market was much slower, there were 3,181 new listings at the mid-point in May that year, more than what we are seeing this May. 

Some interesting side notes so far this month. Overall, Greater Vancouver, absorption rates are sitting at the highest the have been since early 2022 and 2021. Even with an increase in the number of new listings, there is a 60% sales-to-listings ratio so far in May. As we move through May we’ll see the active listing count finish above 9,000 for the first time this year, a month later than it took to get to that number last year when 2022 started with over 2,000 less listings.
 

To say buyers have been listing starved this year is an understatement. Vancouver West and East side both have one of the lowest absorption rates in the region, other than the perennially low West Vancouver – although at 50% and 55% for Vancouver West and East respectively this is keeping both areas in seller’s market conditions still.


Ladner and Tsawwassen have two of the strongest absorption rates at 121% and 83% respectively. Looking at Ladner, there have been 11 townhouse sales on 5 new listings and 7 condo sales on 5 new listings. Detached and townhouses are seeing strong competition amongst buyers in many areas, and detached homes are picking up steam in the market.  

So, while we are seeing some gradual growth in listings, it’s likely going to continue to be a seller’s market for most of the region as we move into summer. Unless we see significant listing activity, that will likely remain. With today’s inflation numbers showing a slight reversal from the decreases we’ve seen; the Bank of Canada will have a decision to make at their next meeting in June. Raise or not to raise. Although with increased mortgaged costs part of what’s driving inflation numbers, it’s hard to imagine how increasing interest rates will help and likely lead to the status quo. 
 

Here’s a summary of the numbers:


Greater Vancouver 

1,759 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
1,227 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
1,184 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
1,381 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
2,183 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
686 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
1,148 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

2,909 new listings so far in May compared to
2,182 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
2,154 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
3,210 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
3,758 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
1,851 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
3,181 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 8,963 compared to 9,770 at mid-month in May 2022, and 8,778 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 60% compared to 43% at mid-month in May 2022 and 56% at mid-month in April 2023.

Vancouver West 

305 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
215 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
211 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
271 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
372 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
117 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
207 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

613 new listings so far in May compared to
420 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
467 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
619 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
775 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
371 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
567 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 2,056 compared to 2,386 at mid-month in May 2022, and 1,988 at
mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 50% compared to 43% at mid-month in May 2022 and 51% at mid-month in April 2023.

Vancouver East

185 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
111 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
127 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
149 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
241 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
77 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
131 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

335 new listings so far in May compared to
251 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
223 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
346 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
423 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
175 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
305 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 968 compared to 1,128 at mid-month in May 2022, and 940 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 55% compared to 43% at mid-month in May 2022 and 44% at mid-month in April 2023.

North Vancouver

147 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
90 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
108 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
127 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
177 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
55 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
112 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

227 new listings so far in May compared to
153 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
180 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
241 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
285 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
147 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
264 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 508 compared to 519 at mid-month in May 2022, and 496 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 65% compared to 53% at mid-month in May 2022 and 59% at mid-month in April 2023.

West Vancouver 

45 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
34 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
29 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
38 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
55 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
19 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
30 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

116 new listings so far in May compared to
94 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
77 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
122 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
127 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
84 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
130 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 502 compared to 533 at mid-month in May 2022, and 475 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 39% compared to 31% at mid-month in May 2022 and 36% at mid-month in April 2023.

Richmond

204 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
153 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
163 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
153 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
248 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
72 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
120 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

322 new listings so far in May compared to
261 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
264 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
373 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
430 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
207 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
400 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 1,088 compared to 1,244 at mid-month in May 2022, and 1,080 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 63% compared to 41% at mid-month in May 2022 and 59% at mid-month in April 2023.

Burnaby East 

22 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
19 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
10 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
16 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
26 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
11 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
10 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

29 new listings so far in May compared to
18 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
22 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
29 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
36 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
17 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
25 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 74 compared to 74 at mid-month in May 2022, and 77 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 76% compared to 55% at mid-month in May 2022 and 106% at mid-month in April 2023.

Burnaby North 

94 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
77 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
80 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
95 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
122 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
43 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
56 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

157 new listings so far in May compared to
129 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
110 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
166 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
211 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
56 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
158 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 434 compared to 431 at mid-month in May 2022, and 412 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 60% compared to 57% at mid-month in May 2022 and 60% at mid-month in April 2023.

Burnaby South 

118 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
101 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
60 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
79 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
121 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
34 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
34 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

170 new listings so far in May compared to
125 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
101 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
141 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
212 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
65 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
170 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 396 compared to 487 at mid-month in May 2022, and 390 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 69% compared to 56% at mid-month in May 2022 and 81% at mid-month in April 2023.

New Westminster 

75 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
54 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
43 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
56 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
212 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
65 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
170 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

101 new listings so far in May compared to
80 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
77 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
135 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
146 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
71 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
145 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 237 compared to 296 at mid-month in May 2022, and 235 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 74% compared to 41% at mid-month in May 2022 and 68% at mid-month in April 2023.

Coquitlam 

164 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
90 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
97 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
111 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
173 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
44 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
88 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

226 new listings so far in May compared to
180 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
152 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
218 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
306 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
192 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
281 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 502 compared to 609 at mid-month in May 2022, and 506 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 73% compared to 51% at mid-month in May 2022 and 50% at mid-month in April 2023.

Port Moody

47 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
54 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
37 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
25 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
52 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
24 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
26 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

66 new listings so far in May compared to
49 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
50 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
61 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
93 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
36 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
63 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 167 compared to 162 at mid-month in May 2022, and 163 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 71% compared to 41% at mid-month in May 2022 and 110% at mid-month in April 2023.

Port Coquitlam 

48 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
35 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
28 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
44 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
82 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
26 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
54 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

72 new listings so far in May compared to
52 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
57 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
99 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
120 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
47 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
98 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 138 compared to 199 at mid-month in May 2022, and 159 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 67% compared to 44% at mid-month in May 2022 and 67% at mid-month in April 2023.

Ladner 

35 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
16 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
23 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
14 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
25 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
8 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
16 units sold at mid-month in May 2019
29 new listings so far in May compared to
27 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
20 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
24 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
38 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
18 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
35 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 87 compared to 91 at mid-month in May 2022, and 102 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 121% compared to 58% at mid-month in May 2022 and 59% at mid-month in April 2023.

Tsawwassen

33 units sold so far in May 2023 compared to 
17 units sold at mid-month in April 2023 
13 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
19 units sold at mid-month in May 2022
49 units sold at mid-month in May 2021
24 units sold at mid-month in May 2020
17 units sold at mid-month in May 2019

40 new listings so far in May compared to
38 new listings at mid-month in April 2023
38 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
56 new listings at mid-month in May 2022
72 new listings at mid-month in May 2021
39 new listings at mid-month in May 2020
54 new listings at mid-month in May 2019

Total active listings are at 151 compared to 157 at mid-month in May 2022, and 177 at mid-month in April 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 83% compared to 34% at mid-month in May 2022 and 45% at mid-month in April 2023.

Read

Highlights of the April Market Report

  • We are now in a seller’s market across Greater Vancouver 

  • Multiple offers are being seen as buyers roar back 

  • Buyers must brace for higher new home prices in ‘24

  • Greater Vancouver sales are up 166% since the start of the year

  • Fraser Valley detached house prices are up $60,000 since January

As much of Canada suffers under a belief that the housing market has tanked, Metro Vancouver homebuyers are quietly and efficiently setting month-over-month sale increases this year and are already being rewarded by rising prices.


Consider this a wake-up call.

Total April housing sales across Greater Vancouver hit 2,741 transactions, up from 2,535 in March and a 166% increase from January 2023 and the highest monthly level since May 2022. Benchmark home prices so far this year are up 5%. Based on the current benchmark, that is an increase of nearly $60,000, and prices are still rising by 2.4% a month.

In the Fraser Valley, April sales totalled 1,554 homes, even with a month earlier and up 148% from January of this year. The benchmark detached house price is up $100,000 compared to January and the typical condo sold in April at $503,700, up $30,000 from the start of the year.

This was not foreseen by most; and in April, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., the federal housing agency, told us that the Metro Vancouver average home price could fall as much as 24 percent this year and it didn’t see a sales recovery until 2024-25.
 

On the street, the reality is much different. With the Bank of Canada halting rate increases, buyers are more confident and are back in a big way. The April competition for new listings was astounding: over 20 offers for a detached house in Ladner; 10 to 20 offers for condos throughout the region, including downtown Vancouver among the many anecdotal reports from the field. With a consistent shortage, any townhouse listing attracted multiple buyers, and the sales-to-listing ratio hit a jaw-dropping 185% in April for Port Moody townhouses. 


The real estate market has turned quickly and is fast approaching 3,000 sales a month. If this happens in May, as we suspect, it would be the first time since April last year that Greater Vancouver has achieved that number.

Another signal of the turnaround is new housing starts, which have roared back and may help to alleviate the continued lack of new resale listings. In the first quarter of 2023, 7,318 new homes started in Metro Vancouver, up 69% from the same period last year. The current residential construction pace, if maintained, would result in more than 29,000 starts this year in Metro Vancouver, the highest level in three years. But this will take time to have any effect on the market and will require many more starts.

A big test of the new condo market is now being conducted on the Burnaby-Coquitlam border this month where a brand-new condo tower complex is finished and offered for sale. Normally, new condos are sold as pre-sales, but these 262 apartments at the City of Lougheed are move-in ready. This is a bold and rare test of the condo market and should give a strong indication of current demand. We would not be surprised by a quick sell-out.

However, we are less certain that buyers will be flocking to purchase new homes in 2024 because of startling government-imposed cost increases. Costs keep getting added to the equation and for some developments, it may not be feasible to move from the planning to the building stage. 
 

Here are some of the recent increases homebuilders are now dealing with:

  • On April 19, the Metro Vancouver Regional District board of directors approved a motion to make real estate developers pay 99% of the cost for water and sewage upgrades across the district. Currently, developers pay 83% for sewage upgrades and 50% for water infrastructure, so this is a big increase, especially since three large water-treatment projects are currently underway, totalling well over $10 billion.
     

  • Led by a 47% increase in Richmond and a 33% hike in Coquitlam, suburban municipalities across the region are raising development cost charges on new residential construction going into next year. 
     

  • On May 1, the B.C. Step Code building code for new residential construction was legislated across the province. This ‘green’ building code, the most rigid in Canada, will outlaw natural gas in new buildings and add thousand, even tens of thousands of dollars, to the cost of new homes, especially detached houses, and high-rise concrete condos.
     

  • Changes to B.C.’s contaminated land regulations, just coming in, will add an extra $80,000 to $100,000 in testing alone, and delays to a new strata project before construction even starts
     

  • Residential land prices – and the cost per buildable foot – are soaring right across the Lower Mainland. Recently, residential sites in North Burnaby and Surrey Central sold for more than $25 million per acre; a 1.3-acre land assembly in Coquitlam sold in March for $24.5 million; and Vancouver is seeing residential development land trading at $90 million per acre or more.

Best advice: buy an existing home this year, and the sooner the better. Existing homes can’t be replaced for nearly the same price, and resale values are increasing month-over-month.

 
A look at the regional numbers:

 
Greater Vancouver: Total housing sales in April were 2,741, up 8% from a month earlier and 166% higher than in January of this year and off just 16% from April 2022. By next month, the script will shift as sales begin to be higher compared to a year ago. For true market comparison, April sales this year were 48% higher than in April 2019 before the pandemic hit and everything went crazy. However, listings are the laggard, down 1% this April from a month earlier; and total active listings, at 8,734, represent just a 3-month supply at the current sales pace. The inventory shortfall is leading to multiple offers and rising prices, with April’s benchmark price up 2.4% from a month earlier; detached house prices and condo prices are 3% higher at $1,915,800 and $752,300, respectively. With 500 sales in April, and a high sales-to-listing ratio, townhouse prices were up 2.1% from March to $1,078,400. Greater Vancouver is now a sellers' market in all property types, with an overall sales-to-listing ratio of 62%. 

Fraser Valley: The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board posted 1,554 sales in April, virtually unchanged compared to March 2023 and up 5.1% from April 2022. Listings were down 31% from April 2022 however, to 2,478. There are now 4,632 active listings, down 2.2% from March 2023 and 14% below April of last year. Prices are rising as buyers bid on fewer listings. Detached-house prices, at $1,442,900, were up nearly 4% from March 2023; townhomes increased 1.7% month-over-month to $808,000; and the benchmark condo price was up 1.6% in the same period to $530,200. Strata prices are down from 9% to 13% from a year ago, with detached prices off 17% from April 2022. 
 
Vancouver Westside: 
The Westside saw condos in a seller’s market in April, while townhouses jumped up to 7 month’s supply and the detached-house sector is still in balance. But new listings were 9% lower overall in April compared to March, so buyers are purchasing what they can. In all, 468 sales were recorded in April, nearly 50% higher than in February and up 4% from March 2023.  Prices are rising fast: the benchmark detached house price is now $3,313,200, up 9.7% (about $310,000) since January and up 3% from March. Townhouse prices shot up 6.5%, month-over-month to $1,481,900 and typical apartments sold for $848,000 in April, an increase of 2.5% from March.  The supply of total residential listings is steady at a tight 4-months in this seller’s market. April’s sales-to-listings ratio of 56% compared to 49% in March 2023 and 48% in April 2022.
 
Vancouver East Side: Compared to a year ago, East Side sales and listings were down sharply from a year ago, but sales were also lower than in March 2023, with 267 transactions in April compared to 287 a month earlier. There were 939 active listings as of April 30, up from 899 at the end of March. The total inventory represents a 4-months’ supply as the sales-to-listing ratio is a strong 55% in this seller’s market.  The median price of the 75 houses sold in April was $1.95 million, up nearly $150,000 from a month earlier. Condos led the sales parade, with 113 sales at a median of $657,000, up marginally from March, while median townhouse prices increased to $1,405,000, up about $50,000 from April of last year. Over the past three months, the overall benchmark price is 5.4% higher, at $1,312,400.
 
North Vancouver: April sales continued a trajectory that has seen transactions rise 46% over the past two months to reach 218. Benchmark home prices have followed the lead, rising 7% since January to $1,369,900 in April, with detached house prices up nearly 8% in the same period to $2,192,200. Despite new listings falling 10% from March, total active listings at the end of April were 495, nearly identical to a year earlier. We estimate there is a mere 2-month supply of total listings, with the sales-to-listing ratio running at 66%, up from 58% from both a month and a year earlier. This is a seller’s market that is gaining momentum.

West Vancouver: Metro’s second-most expensive housing market is not known for a high number of sales and April was no exception, with 60 transactions, down 6% from a month earlier, though 43% higher than in February. New listings, though, were 94% higher than a year ago, so the market is stirring. We are calling this a balanced market, but shifting to a buyer’s advantage for those who can afford it. The benchmark price of a detached house, which dominated the market with 43 sales in April, is $3,111,600, up 3% from March, but still 8% lower than a year ago. The overall sales-to-listing ratio is 38% and has held steady in that range for two months.

Richmond: The ban on foreign homebuyers that came into effect on January 1 apparently had zero effect in Richmond, despite some concerns. Sales are following similar patterns to other markets, with 338 transactions in April up 51% from February and well above January. Prices are also firming in Richmond: the benchmark price is $1,179,200, down just 1.7% from a year ago and rising an average of 2% per month since the start of the year. Active listings were at 1,062 at month-end compared to 1,197 at that time last year and 1,049 at the end of March. This is a seller’s market, with the sales-to-listing ratio in April at 67%, which compares to some of the best months of early 2022, and there is just 3-months’ supply of inventory. Housing starts are rising, however, with 507 new homes breaking ground in March, up from just 62 in March 2022 – nearly all the new starts are multi-family units, including 37 new townhouses. So many more townhouses are needed.

Burnaby East: Total sales in April were just 34, but that was up 70% from a month earlier and just 6 units lower than in April of last year. The benchmark price rose 0.4% from March, to $1,114,900, while the detached house price increased 1.3% to $1,749,700, still the lowest in Burnaby.  Active listings were 76 at month-end compared to 67 at that time last year and 85 at the end of March. The inventory of total residential listings is down to 2-month supply. This is a seller’s market on steroids, with a sales-to-listings ratio of 81% compared to 43% in March 2023 and 58% in April 2022.

Burnaby North: This is one of the hot markets where total sales in April, at 176, were higher than in April 2022, in this case, up 7 percent year over year and 4% higher than in March 2023, and 31% above February of this year. Condos led this market, and the benchmark condo price has increased 5.5% over the past three months to $734,600. Confidence in the future strata market was underlined in April when a major condo developer paid $94 million for a 4.2-acre development site near the Brentwood and Gilmour SkyTrain station. There was a total of 415 residential properties for sale at the end of April, slightly higher than a year earlier and up from 388 in March. The benchmark home price is up 5% since January, at $1,002,900.

With a sales success ratio of 67%, compared to 71% in March 2023 and 47% in April 2022, this is a strong seller’s market.

Burnaby South: Sales here were also up from a year ago, rising 16% to 215 this April, which was also 65% higher than in March 2023. At $1,100,200, the benchmark price in April was up 2.3% from a month earlier. The benchmark detached house price has surged nearly 8% higher since January, to $2,145,800. In an unabashed sellers’ market, the sales-to-listing ratio is a sizzling 81% and the total inventory, at 385, represents just a 2-month supply.

New Westminster: Total April sales were 113, up from 96 (18%) in March 2023 but down from 134 (16%) in April 2022. We see the Royal City as a good buy this year. The benchmark detached house price in April was $1,433,100, up just 0.2% from a month earlier and down 4.3% from a year earlier. But this house price is about $300,000 less than Coquitlam or East Burnaby. New West condo prices, at $652,100, are also among the lowest in the suburbs. We have a feeling New Westminster has price growth potential. Total active listings are 238, down from last April but up 15% from March 2023. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 70%, this is a seller’s market, but buyers may find the prices tempting. 

Coquitlam: Many will be watching a rare event when two new condo towers, finished, launch more than 200 units into the market in May. The towers are technically in Burnaby but right on the Coquitlam border at Lougheed Town Centre. In April, 99 Coquitlam condo apartments sold at a median price of $685,000 and there were just 149 new listings, generating a healthy 67% sales-to-listing ratio. Total active listings of all properties were at 495 at the end of April, compared to 572 at that time last year and 473 at the end of March.

This is a seller’s market that appears to be accelerating. 

Port Moody: The entire Tri-Cities region has seen only 74 housing starts so far this year, so we must look to resale listings for future supply, and that means a tight inventory due to high demand in Port Moody. Port Moody might be the hottest market in Greater Vancouver, with a 91% absorption rate overall, sitting with 2-month supply. Townhouses saw a jaw-dropping 185% absorption rate, meaning almost two sales for every new listing. Condo sales were up 73% year-over-year in Port Moody as condo prices dipped to a median of $685,000, down from a median of $712,500 a year earlier. Total sales in April were 91, up 14% in March and 94% higher than in February in this active seller’s market.

Port Coquitlam: With 76 sales in April, transactions were up 10% from a month earlier, but new listings dropped 39% month-over-month while the composite home price inched up 1.2% to $927,100, the lowest in the Tri-Cities. Detached house prices are now 13.3% below April of last year but are rising by around 2.2% per month. With only a 2-month supply of listings and a sales-to-listing ratio at 97%, compared to 54% a month earlier, this is a clear seller’s market.

Ladner: There is only 1 month's supply of townhouses and condos, with only 7 condo new listings in April compared to 19 in March in Ladner. The overall sales-to-listing ratio is 74%.
Townhouse benchmark prices dipped 0.7% in April from a month earlier, but remain 7% higher than in January, at $991,700. Condos are selling at $698,000, but prices were down 2% in April from March 2023. With just a 2-month supply of listings and a sales ratio of 74%, we expect prices to increase in this seller’s market. 

Tsawwassen: Sunny Tsawwassen has an example of what is known as an intergenerational community, the Southlands development, which took years to win approval but could be a template for future suburban projects. Its mix of housing is designed to attract seniors and young families with an agricultural theme and a lively retail village that includes a beachfront. It is among the reasons Tsawwassen is seeing higher sales now than a year ago and where total home sales have more than doubled since February. The townhouse’s benchmark prices are $901,600, lower than in neighbouring Ladner. Detached-house prices in April were up 7.2% from a month earlier, at $1,473,200, but remain 14% lower than a year ago. Condo apartments, at $724,900, are nearly unchanged from last year. A total of 54 properties were sold and there are only 167 on the market. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 73%, the highest for an April in years, this is a sellers’ market with very low inventory.

Pitt Meadows: Total sales have been declining for more than a year and April was no exception with just 27 transactions, down 4% from a month earlier and 40% lower than in April 2022. Detached house prices remain 17% lower than a year ago but have rallied so far this year, up 7% to an April benchmark of $1,220,900.  New listings in April were up 26% compared to March 2023, bringing the overall supply to about 3 months. With a sales-to-listings ratio of 50%, compared to 65% in March 2023, this is a weak seller’s market that could be balanced.

Maple Ridge: Young families looking for a townhouse are often drawn to Maple Ridge, where there is a fairly good selection and benchmark prices are down 15% from April 2022, to $747,200. This is about $200,000 below the Lower Mainland benchmark. Townhouse prices are inching up, though, increasing about 6% so far this year. Total property sales in April reached 161 in April, 8% higher than in March and just 3% below April 2022. This seller’s market is firming, with new listings in April down 7% from a month earlier, a sales-to-new-listing ratio of 62% and just 506 homes on the market. 

Surrey: The Fraser Valley’s largest market saw just 255 detached sales, 216 townhouse transactions and 227 condo sales in April, with detached and condo sales up 4% from March and townhouse sales down 3%. Detached house prices were up 3.8% month over month, but down 16% from a year earlier, at $1,579,100. The lowest strata benchmark prices are in North Surrey, with townhouses at $749,700 and condo apartments at $497,800.

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DEXTER February 2023 Market Report: Moving on from a once-in-a-century past

Highlights of Dexter Realty’s February 2023 Report 

  • Prices increased month-over-month for the first time since May 2022

  • Housing sales are up 77% from January; new listings are up just 5%.

  • Multiple offers are being seen on Westside detached houses. 

  • Top townhouse market: New Westminster. 

  • Undersupplied North Vancouver is now a seller’s market.

The last three years have been an anomaly for housing markets around the world and Greater Vancouver is no exception. That is why it is virtually useless to compare our current, back-to-reality environment with what was happening a year or two years ago during a once-in-a-century event.

 

In 2021, we were in the grip of a global pandemic and a home-buying frenzy with mortgage rates at record lows. In February 2022, housing sales and prices hit a white-hot peak just before the federal government hosed it down with the first of eight straight interest rate increases through the Bank of Canada.

 

Today, in February 2023, the panic buying is history, mortgage rates have stabilized, and buyers are back into the first normal housing market in four years. Driven by buyer demand and low supply, February marked the first month-to-month home price increase in nine months


Greater Vancouver housing sales, at 1,824 transactions in February, were up 77% from January 2023 and 21% higher than in February 2019, before the whole pandemic-influenced housing boom-and-bust began. February sales were also higher than in November and December 2022, and, we believe, signal the start of a strong spring selling season.


Buyers are already competing with other buyers for far fewer listings. The number of new listings in February was the lowest for that month going back to pre-1991, much the same as it was in January. Compared to January 2023, listings were only up 5%. 


But, since sales have been slower over the past 10 months, a total of 8,283 homes were on the market at the of February, above the 7,862 active listings at the end of January and a few hundred more than in December 2022. 


With buyers flowing back into the market, immigration hitting record levels and interest rates settling down, this appears a prime time to encourage housing starts. However, governments at all levels appear to be doing their best to stunt new home construction.

  • The federal government has banned foreign buyers for two years, including those investing in residential land, if the developer has less than 97% Canadian ownership. For example, a 3,000-unit Burnaby residential development, now under construction, would not be allowed today because the developer is based out of London, England. The recent collapse of major condo developers in Metro Vancouver could be traced to the ban’s impact on companies with as little as a 3% foreign ownership. This has put thousands of new homes at risk.
     

  • The B.C. government is spending $500 million to stop or stall the private redevelopment of 50 and 60-year-old rental buildings into modern, higher-density housing projects.
     

  • Metro municipalities are jacking up development cost charges, even as housing starts fall. Among the examples is Richmond, where housing starts so far in 2023 total just 73 units, down 80% from the 381 starts at the same time a year ago. Richmond is raising DCC rates on single-family lots by $20,000 to $61,138, and raising the DCC rate for condo apartments and townhouses by 43% to more than $34 per square foot. This means that a modest new townhouse of 1,200 square feet will now cost about $41,000 just in city development fees. 

All governments preach about addressing the supply of ‘missing middle’ housing for families, which translates as townhouses. Yet only 3 townhouse units have started so far this year in the City of Vancouver, compared to just 21 units a year ago at this time – and a mere 90 townhouse units were started in all of 2022 across Metro Vancouver.

 

For residential investors, the consistent housing shortage is a blessing, which is why Metro Vancouver has become a “buy and hold” housing environment. Owners know that the law of supply and demand ensures that home prices will keep increasing. So they wait it out. In markets where sales levels are declining, an increase in new listings would add to the active listing count and provide downward pressure on prices. 

 

That’s not the Metro Vancouver market, where sales are turning back up.

 

Any increase in new listings will be absorbed by buyers. With the level of competition we are now seeing in the market, buyers are craving listings and competing for different product types in different areas. Active listing counts are up about 500 since the end of December. Absorption rates today are twice what they were in a similar market in 2019, and are only held in check by the lack of homes on the market.

 

The bottom line: Greater Vancouver listings are scarce at a time when they should be double what they are. 

 

Prior to 2015, having 15,000 to 20,000 active listings in Greater Vancouver was the norm. Since then, we’ve barely scratched above 15,000 and right now we are at half that level. Restrictive zoning and slow-moving development approvals continue to barricade supply. And without that supply, a seller’s markets will continue, at whatever level of demand we have in the market. 

 

A look at the Regional housing numbers: 

 

Greater Vancouver: Total housing sales were up 77% compared to January 2023, while new listings were up 5%. The result was the composite benchmark home price posted the first month-over-month increase since May of 2022, rising 1.1% to $1,123,400. Detached house prices rose 0.7%, to $1,813,000; condo apartment prices rose 1.6% to $732,200; and townhouse benchmark prices were up 1.8%, compared to a month earlier, to $1,038,500. Active Listings were at 8,283 at month-end compared to 7,062 at that time last year and 7,862 at the end of January. Greater Vancouver’s detached housing market is now seen as a balanced market, with both condo apartments and townhouses in a seller’s market. The total sales-to-new-listing ratio in February was 51%, compared to 30% in January 2023 and 62% in February 2022.


Fraser Valley: The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 898 sales in February, an increase of 43.5% over January 2023, but still only half as many as were recorded a year ago. February new listings were up by 5.7% over January 2023 to 1,938 but 48.25% lower than in February 2023. Active listings were up 7% from a month earlier. The composite benchmark home price in February was $946,700 up 0.5%  from January 2023 and the first month-over-month increase since April 2022. Further, the benchmark price is 36% higher than in pre-pandemic February 2020. 


Vancouver Westside: February total sales, at 316, were up 63% from January 2023 and would have been even higher if more listings were available. One Westside house had 16 offers on it at the end of February, an indication of the demand. New listings were down 1% from January, but active listings as of month end were at 1,923, representing about a six-month supply. The sales-to-new-listing ratio is running at 44%, up from 27% a month earlier. There is a severe shortage of townhouses, with nearly half the 91 new listings selling in February at a median price of more than $1.48 million. No new townhouses have started construction this year on the Westside. The February benchmark price for a detached house on the Westside jumped 2.7% from a month earlier, to $3,103,100.

 

Vancouver East Side: Total housing sales in February, at 198, were up 68% from January 2023, but new listings were up by only 6%, while the sales-to-new-listing ratio reached a balanced 52%, up from 33% in January, and close to 55% ratio in the hot market a year ago. This is a market to watch. Benchmark prices were up in all sectors from a month earlier, led by a 2.9% surge in townhouse prices to $1,052,500. The supply of total residential listings is down to five months supply, with condos in seller’s market conditions. Benchmark condo prices were up 1% from January, to $683,600, based on 101 sales, double the number a month earlier.

 

North Vancouver: This perpetually under supplied market is a seller’s market with only a three-months supply of listings, even with growth in active listings of townhouses and condos. A total of 150 sales were seen in February, up 83% from a month earlier, but active listings were just 20 homes higher, at 436 units. With the sales-to-listing ratio at 59%, townhouse prices shot up 4.1% from January 2023, to $1,286200, and detached and condo benchmark prices were up nearly 2% from a month earlier.

 

West Vancouver: Sales increased 54%, month over month to 43 transactions, but because of a 21% spike in new listings, there is now a 10-month supply of homes, in this buyer’s market for detached houses. It remains a seller’s market for townhomes, because the supply is so low, perhaps one reason West Vancouver’s population is declining. West Van posted a modest decline in most prices compared to January, except for condo apartments, which were up 2.7% to a region-leading $1,228,900.

 

Richmond: Despite the angst in Richmond’s strata market – where an 800-unit development has gone into receivership and starts have plunged 80% from a year ago, total sales in February were up 89% from January. The benchmark composite home prices rose 2% from a month earlier with condos selling for $735,800; townhouses at $1,083,100; and detached houses at just over $2 million. With an overall sales-to-listing ratio of nearly 50%, the detached-house market is in balanced conditions, with a seller’s market building steam in the strata sector. 

 

Burnaby East: Total sales in February were 21, up 133% from a month earlier and the sales-to-listing ratio hit a stunning 105%, compared to a low of 20% in January 2023 and 52% in February of last year. This is a seller’s market on steroids with the composite benchmark price up 2.2% month-over-month to $1,102,900, the highest in Burnaby.

 

Burnaby North: With total sales up 113% from January 2023, to 134, and total active listings down 10%, this is also a seller’s market with a mere three-month supply of listings and a sales ratio of 66%. The saving grace is the high number of new condos coming to the market in the Brentwood-Gilmore area. The composite home price was up from January, led by a 2.4% surge in townhouse prices to $892,100.

 

Burnaby South: Many Burnaby buyers were southbound in February, driving total sales up 119% from a month earlier, to 118 transactions. Active listings were 377 at month end compared to 352 at the end of January, which translates to a three-month supply at the current sales pace. The composite benchmark price was up nearly 1% from January at $966,500. The sales-to-listing ratio is a healthy 57% with the strata sector in seller’s market conditions.

 

New Westminster: For buyers looking for scarce townhouses, the Royal City has a good selection. Only 3 townhouses sold in February and there is nine-month supply on the market. Benchmark townhouse prices, however, increased 4.4% from January 2023, to $932,200, the same price as in February 2023. Total housing sales in February were 65% higher than a month earlier, at 66, at new listings inched up by 1%. The overall sales-to-listing ratio is 62%, up from 38% in January 2023 with a buyer’s market for townhouse and condos and a balanced market for detached houses, where prices are up 2.4% or about $34,000 – from a month earlier at $1,418,100.

 

Coquitlam: It seems hard to understand with the amount of new multi-family construction over the past two years, but Coquitlam is seeing a shortage of strata homes. Coquitlam had one of the biggest turnarounds in February with sales up 116% compared to January. Townhouse sales went from 4 in January to 40 in February. With that, there is just a two-months of inventory for townhouses and condos. The composite benchmark price is up 0.7% from a month earlier, but townhouse prices rose 2.5% from January to $999,900. With an overall sales-to-listing ratio of 67%, this is a seller’s market for strata units and balanced in the detached sector.

 

Port Moody: Even with total listings of 200 at the end of February, and a significant increase in townhouse and condo listings, strata units are in a seller’s market, along with detached houses. There were more sales than new listings compared to January, with a 104% sales increase from the month previous, to 47 transactions while only 91 new listings in February compared to 103 in January. More than half (52%) of the new listings sold in February, while the composite benchmark price increased 1% to $1,093,100, the highest in the Tri-Cities. 

 

Port Coquitlam: There is only a one-month supply of townhouses with twice as many sales as new listings in February. Total housing sales reached 40, up a modest 18% from January 2023. The total supply of residential listings is down to four months, meaning a balanced market conditions for detached houses, with townhouses and condos in seller’s market conditions. The overall sales-to-listing ratio is a healthy 46% and the composite benchmark price has held steady (up 0.7%) for three months at $900,900.

 

Pitt Meadows: Sales didn’t budge month-over-month, with 15 transactions in February, while new listings fell 29% compared to January 2023. The total inventory remains at a four-month supply in this balanced market, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 55%. The composite benchmark home price fell 0.6% from January to $825,900.


Maple Ridge: Total housing sales in February were up 98% from January 2023 to 129 transactions, but new listings were down 4% from a month earlier. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 62%, the same as in February of last year and up from 30% in January 2023, this is a sellers’ market with just four months of inventory. Still, Maple Ridge plans to increase development cost charges this year to $41,000 for a new detached house, up from $22,465, and raise per-square-foot fees for new condo and townhouse units by 80%. The composite benchmark home price in February was up about 1% from January, at $918,300, but townhouse prices rose 3.5%, month over month, to $723,600.


Ladner: The townhouses market saw significant increases in sales and listings accounting for as many sales in February as detached and condos combined. Still, the total market was fairly brisk, with 27 transactions, up 69% from a month earlier and higher even than in February of last year. Townhouse prices spiked up 6.7% from January 2023 tied as the highest increase in Metro Vancouver – to $988,600. New listings were up 42% from a month earlier and there were 98 active listings as February ended. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 44%, this is a balanced market slanting towards a seller’s advantage for townhouses and condos.

 

Tsawwassen: Detached house listings were down 41% compared to January, while condos remain with a three-month supply. Detached houses and townhouses are in a balanced market. Total sales were rather tepid, at 25 transactions compared with 20 in January 2023 and 73 in February 2022. Perhaps buyers are tired of the back-and-forth Massey Tunnel replacement plan that doesn’t seem to ever get off (or under) the ground. This was noticeably absent from the recent provincial budget announcement and its three-year infrastructure plans. Despite a sales ratio of 47%, the composite benchmark price was down 3.7%, month-over-month, to $1,112,800, led by a sharp 7% drop in detached house prices.

 

Surrey: Benchmark home prices in Surrey were higher than in January, the first month-over-month increase since April of 2022. Detached house prices were up 0.7% to $1,503,200; townhouse prices rose 1% to $ $ 803,100 and condo apartment benchmark prices were up 1.4% to $522,700. The outlier is South Surrey-White Rock’s detached market, where prices slipped down 1.4% from January to $1,776,300, still the highest price in the Fraser Valley. With total Surrey sales up 61% from January 2023, at 132 transactions, and new listings up less than 15%, Surrey is considered a balanced market.


Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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January 2023 - Dexter Report - 2023: the year to get in position for the recovery

January 2023 signalled early that it would end with what the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says is “among the lowest sales month in recent history.”


As of mid-month, total transactions had reached just 334 properties, well below the 795 in mid-December 2022 or the 778 in mid-January 2022. The slow sales reflected not only higher mortgage rates but a barrage of anti-demand government policies that started the New Year.

Having dealt with a City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax, the provincial Speculation and Vacancy Tax and a provincial foreign buyer’s tax, effective January 1, we now have a provincial three-day Home Buyer Rescission Period (or ‘cooling-off’ period), a two-year ban on foreign buyers across Canada, a national Underused Homes Tax – essentially a Canada wide empty-homes tax for foreign owned properties – and a national anti-flipping tax which would see any profits for sales within a year of purchase taxed as business income. And of course, Canada’s prime lending rate has doubled from a year earlier, due to eight straight Bank of Canada increases.


It is wonder all this didn’t kill home buying all together. Yet a close look at Metro Vancouver shows flashes of high-performing regional markets in January and evidence that, despite misplaced and heavy-handed government policies, many people remain eager to purchase.


January ended with 1,030 properties sold of all types across Greater Vancouver, meaning sales more than doubled in the past two weeks of the month compared to the first half. As well, new listings increased from 1,379 in the first two weeks of January to end with 3,384, but this was still the lowest number of new listings for a January going back to before 1991 – more than thirty years ago.

This speaks to the one thing keeping prices from declining more than they have. Sellers are not desperate. There is a lot of equity in owning a home and that keeps buyers from going into the market and from sellers rushing to get out. Since the start of the pandemic three years ago, the composite home price in Greater Vancouver has increased by 26%, or about $286,000. The typical detached house is now worth $411,000 more than in January 2020, at a January 2023 benchmark of $1,801,300. 

If there is one prediction that could be made about this market, it’s that listings will not be coming in abundance. 


Despite all the government rhetoric about creating more housing, policies are failing to address the underlying lack of supply. In 2022, for instance, total non-rental housing starts in Metro Vancouver fell 18% from a year earlier to just 16,116 units. And, despite a year-over-year increase in rental construction, Metro Vancouver rents are now the highest in history and the most expensive in Canada.


In some markets, the low inventory sparked bidding wars in January and turned key suburban municipalities into seller’s markets as tenants aimed to move into ownership and owners tried to improve their housing. 


Here are some markets bucking the downward sales trend:

  • A Richmond condo listing attracted 11 offers in January as the local condo market moved from a balanced to a seller’s advantage.
     

  • In North Vancouver, townhomes and condos are in a seller’s market with January townhouse sales at similar levels to January 2022.
     

  • The strata sector was in seller’s market conditions in North Burnaby, New Westminster and even Coquitlam, despite a multi-family building boom in all three cities.
     

  • In 12 of the 22 Greater Vancouver markets, townhouse prices increased from December 2022 to January 2023 and were up an average of 0.8% across the entire region to $1,020,400, while benchmark condo apartment prices rose 1% month-over-month to $720,700.

 

These are not the signs of a distressed housing market – there are instead signals that buyers, confident that interest rate hikes have ended for now, are willing to come back into the market. If there were more listings, there would be more sales. It is as simple as that.


And listings of resale housing are starting to increase. The total number of homes currently listed for sale in the Greater Vancouver is 7,478, a 32.1% increase compared to January 2022 and 1.3% higher compared to December 2022. 

All predictions are that 2024 will see improved housing sales and ascending prices. This is the year for buyers to position themselves for that recovery in a still vibrant housing environment with upside potential. In fact, we believe 2023 will be a much stronger market than most pundits are predicting.

Despite headwinds through 2023, there is far too much demand to keep this real estate market from doing anything but grow.


Summary of Greater Vancouver markets in January 2023


Greater Vancouver: With total housing sales down 56% this January compared to January 2022, the January 2023 composite home price was 6.6% lower year-over-year and a mere 0.3% lower than in December 2022, to $1,111,400. Total active Listings were 7,862 at month-end compared to 5,987 at that time last year and 7,791 at the end of December, while new listings in January 2023 were up an expected 173% compared to December 2022. For all property types, the sales-to-listings ratio for January 2023 was 30%. By property type, the ratio is 28% for detached homes, 28% for townhomes, and 33% for apartments. With 571 transactions in the month, condos accounted for more than half of all sales in January, with townhouse sales at 156 and detached house transactions at 295. With an 8-month supply of inventory, this is overall a buyer’s market that is gaining strength. 

Fraser Valley: With 626 transactions in January 2023, housing sales were off 12.6% compared to December 2022 and down by 52.2% compared to January 2022 to the lowest level in 10 years. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reports that “pent-up demand that has been building since the last quarter of 2022 will likely give rise to a sales uptick, especially if rate hikes subside, which we expect will be the case.” New listings saw an increase of 128.3% over December 2022 to 1,833 but remain at the lowest level for January since 1984. Active listings rose 5% to 4,118 compared to December 2022 and were up 76.6% compared to January 2022. At $942,200, the composite benchmark home price edged down 1.4% from December and was off 15% compared to January 2022.

Vancouver Westside: Total sales in January were 194, down 56% from the same month a year earlier and 20% below December 2022. New listings were up 196% compared to December but 29% lower than a year ago. There are less detached homes for sale than at this time last year, but this may change. In January, the City of Vancouver introduced Adding Missing Middle Housing and Simplifying Regulations in Low Density Neighbourhoods, which would see the opportunity to develop multi-unit housing in single-detached RS zones throughout the city. The proposed changes allow up to four units on a typical 33-foot city lot, and 6 units on a 55-foot lot, subject to two rounds of public engagement. A final report and public hearing to be brought before Council in the fall of 2023. Meanwhile, investors and developers will be angling to purchase detached houses to take advantage of the upzoning. The benchmark price of the 25 detached houses sold in January on the Westside was $3,020,600, down 11.6% from a year earlier. The supply of total residential listings is up to 9 month’s supply (buyer’s market conditions) and sales-to-listings ratio is 27% compared to 100% in December 2022 and 44% in January 2022. 

Vancouver East Side: Upzoning of detached house lots may eventually have an even greater impact on the East Side, due to the addition of two SkyTrain extensions and lower prices. The typical detached house sold in January for $1,664,900, or about half that of the Westside, and down 9.3% from a year earlier. Total sales of all properties were 118 in January, down 54% from a year ago. Condos sales, with 56, led local transactions and the benchmark condo price held steady from December 2022, at $676,800. Total active listings were 867 at month end compared to 739 at that time last year and 880 at the end of December 2022. The supply of total residential listings is steady at a 7 month’s supply (balanced to buyer’s market conditions) and the sales-to-listings ratio of 33% compared with 85% in December 2022 and 54% in January 2022.

North Vancouver: A deep sleep in sales was seen in January with only 82 transactions, down 45% from a year earlier. Only 18 detached sales were seen, with the benchmark price of $2,033,000 down just 2.3% from a month earlier and 9.5% below January 2022. Meanwhile, 48 condos sold at a benchmark of $749,000, down less than 1% from December 2022. Both townhomes and condos are in seller’s market conditions with townhouse sales at similar levels to January 2022. Total active listings were at 416 at month end compared to 291 at that time last year and 385 at the end of December 2022. Total residential listings are up to 5 month’s supply (balanced market conditions) and the sales-to-listings ratio of 35% compared to 132% in December 2022 and 55% in January 2022. 

West Vancouver: Benchmarked at $3,074,400 in January, West Vancouver detached house prices are holding remarkably steady, down just 0.6% from a month earlier and less than 6% below January 2022, based on 16 sales. Total properties sold in January were 28, down 30% from December 2022 and down 38% from January 2022. The total residential listings are up to 15-month’s supply and the sales-to-listings ratio of 22% compared to 85% in December 2022 and 32% in January 2022. This is a full-on buyer’s market for those who can afford it.

Richmond: For the first time in two years, the average (not benchmark) home price in Richmond dipped below the $1 million mark in January, falling to $977,143, which was down from more than $1.2 million a year earlier. While total sales in January, at 120, were off 65% from a year earlier, there was action in the strata market. In one case a condo apartment attracted nearly a dozen offers. There were 81 condo sales in the month at a benchmark price of $720,700, a price up 4.6% from a month earlier and 3% higher than in January 2022. Richmond benchmark townhouse prices, at $1,065,600, are 2% higher than a year ago and edged up 1.5% from December 2022. Total active listings were 942 at month end compared to 752 at that time last year and 919 at the end of December. Richmond is a buyer’s market with an 8-month supply and a sales-to-listing ratio at a weak 29%. 

Burnaby East: Only 9 homes sold in January, perhaps the lowest ever recorded and below even the sluggish January 2019 which posted 11 transactions. Listings are increasing, posting a 214% spike up from December, which may keep prices in check. In January, the composite home price was $1,079,300, down 5.3% from a year earlier. There is 10-months of housing inventory in this buyer’s market, where the sales success ratio is a low 20%.

Burnaby North: Total sales were down 56% from a year earlier with 63 transactions in January at a composite benchmark of $954,200, a price down 4.7% year-over-year and off 1.1% from December 2022.(Benchmark prices slipped below $1 million last August and have been slowly descending since). Despite a lot of new condos being built over the past three years, condo prices are holding firm, benchmarked at $696,600 in January, a price 0.2% higher than in January 2022. This is considered an overall balanced market, with about a six-month supply of total listings and a sales-to-listings ratio of 31%

Burnaby South: Just 54 sales were seen in January, down from 94 a month earlier and 64% below the pace in January 2022. The composite benchmark price of $1,052,800, however, was up marginally from December 2022 and down less than 1% from a year ago. Active listings were at 352 at month end compared to 283 at that time last year and 344 at the end of December. This is a buyer’s market, despite the sticky prices, with an inventory of a 7-months’ supply and a sales-to-listing ratio of 33%, far below the 152% seen in December 2022.

New Westminster: New West flirted with a seller’s market in December 2022 but was more balanced in January as sales dipped to 40 transactions, down 25% from a month earlier and 61% below January 2022. There has been increased action in the detached housing market, particularly in the Sapperton and the Massey-Victoria Heights areas, where quick sales were seen, some above asking, at the end of January. While the benchmark detached house price is $1,384,000, New Westminster has one of the lowest composite home prices in a SkyTrain-served community, at $782,300. Both benchmark townhouse prices ($892,300 ) and condo apartments ($622,500) are higher now than a month and a year ago, which is rare in Metro Vancouver. This is considered a balanced market, with a 6-month supply of listings and a sales-to-listings ratio of 38%.

Coquitlam: Coquitlam posted 73 residential property sales in January, down 10% from December 2022 and 58% less than in January 2022, and this is considered a buyer’s market with 484 active listings – about a 7-month supply – and sales-to-listing ratio of a low 28%, compared to 107% in December 2022. Condo demand and prices are firm: 48 apartments sold in January at a benchmark price of $656,300, a price nearly unchanged (down 0.9%) from a year earlier. Just 4 townhouses sold in January, but the benchmark price of $975,000 was down just 0.3% from December 2022. 

Port Moody: Total sales in January were 23 – down from 41 (44%) in December 2022 and down from 57 (60%) in January 2022. Active listings were 188 at month end, compared to 93 at that time last year and 155 at the end of December 2022. New listings in January were up 145% compared to December 2022 and up 29% compared to January 2022. This is a buyer’s market, with the composite home price virtually unchanged from a year ago, at $1,083,700. 

Port Coquitlam: Buyers withdrew from Port Coquitlam in January, and we suspect relatively high prices may be to blame in the only Tricities market with no SkyTrain. The benchmark detached house has shot up 38% since January 2020 and, even with an 11% decline in the last year, is still at $1,279,200. Just 13 detached houses sold in January, down from 29 in the same month last year. However, this is technically a seller’s market because there is only a 4-month supply of listings and the overall sales-to-listing ratio is running at 44%, with detached houses at 66%.

Pitt Meadows: Total sales in January slumped 50% from a year earlier to just 15 transactions as the composite home price in the small community fell 15% in the same period to $830,600. 
Still, this is also seen as seller’s market because a lack of listings translates to just a 4-month supply. The current sales-to-listings ratio of 39% compares to 191% in December 2022 and 73% in January 2022, so sellers have a fragile advantage at best. 

Maple Ridge: Maple Ridge, where the composite home price of $910,000 is still 38% higher than in pre-pandemic January 2020, also saw total sales slide in January, dropped 47% from a year earlier and 17% from a month ago, to 65 transactions. The benchmark price of a detached house, the dominant sales sector, is $1,166,000, down 16.2% from a year ago and declining by an average of about 1.5% per month since last fall. New Listings in January were up 232% compared to December 2022 and the total inventory of listings is up to 7 month’s supply (balanced to buyer’s market conditions), with a sales-to-listings ratio of 30% compared to 120% in December 2022 and 51% in January 2022. 

Ladner: With 16 sales in January, up from 9 in December, Ladner saw its total supply of homes for sale drop from an 8 to a 5-month inventory in January, despite new listings jumping 209% month-over-month. Detached house prices are down 16% from January 2022, to $1,267,700, but are declining 2.5% per month. This is a balanced market tilting towards a buyer’s advantage with lower prices and a rather tepid sales-to-listing ratio of 37%, about half that of December 2022.

Tsawwassen: Tsawwassen posted zero townhouse sales in January, but only having 3 new listings will lead to that. Based on December sales, therefore, the benchmark townhouse price remains 4.4% lower from a year ago, at $937,100. Detached house prices are down 11% year-over-year to $1,434,600 but remain 30% higher than in pre-pandemic January 2020. 

Total housing sales were 20 in January, down 52% from a year earlier, but new listings were up 185% from December 2022. This is a balanced market with a healthy supply of listings and a sales ratio of 35%, down sharply from 115% a month earlier. 

Surrey: Surrey housing sales slumped across the board in January, with detached house transactions down 67.8% year-over-year, townhouse sales down nearly 50% and condo apartment sales falling 60% compared to January 2022. Benchmark prices followed suit, with detached house prices dropping 22% to $1,552,110; townhouse prices down 16% from a year ago to $807,200 and condo prices dipping 7.5% year-over-year to $526,938. With active listings rising and sales and prices falling, Surrey is a serious buyer’s market right now. Opportunity exists in that market.

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As Peter (Yogi) Berra famously said, “It’s Deja-vu all over again” but in this case it is in comparing Metro Vancouver’s housing market in November 2018 and what we are experiencing today. 2018, after all, was also a down market and that November’s housing sales across Greater Vancouver totalled 1,633 properties, eerily close to the 1,625 homes sold in November 2022. November of 2018 was also close to the end of a “normal” real estate market before the entire planet caught a fever that upturned housing sales and prices around the world.

Here is the statement from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) in November 2018, which will sound very familiar today:


“Home buyers have been taking a wait-and-see approach. This has allowed the number of homes available for sale in the region to return to more typical historical levels,” the REBGV Chair said at the time. “This activity is helping home prices edge down, across all property types, from the record highs we’ve experienced over the last year.”


Deja-vu indeed. But there is one big difference. In November 2018, the benchmark detached house price in Metro Vancouver was $1.5 million and townhouses sold for $818,500. This November, houses were selling at a benchmark of $1.65 million and townhouses at $1.07 million. The typical condo apartment now sells for $60,000 more than it did four years ago.

Buyers should not make the same mistakes most did near the end of 2018 and pull away from a declining market. Those that bought into that dip were soon glad they had.


Yes, Metro Vancouver has returned to a rather staid sales and price environment, but things are stirring that may very well see sales and prices surpass even pandemic levels: these include immigration and a housing shortage, both hot issues that may come to a boil in 2023.


Recent data from Zonda (formerly Urban Analytics) showed that Metro Vancouver’s population will increase by 40,719 persons in 2023 (mostly due to record levels of immigration and migration from other provinces), while the number of new strata housing starts will be just 13,667 units and this gap will widen in 2024. Over the next three years, in fact, we will see a shortage of more than 27,000 rental and strata homes needed to keep pace with population growth.

Meanwhile new MLS® listings in November across Greater Vancouver were down 23% from a month earlier and 22% a year earlier. In the Fraser Valley, there were just 1,703 new listings, a decrease of 22% compared to October 2022 and a down nearly 19% from November 2021.

It is up to the private sector to deliver the necessary new housing, but developers are hamstrung by massive increases in government fees and charges on new development, significant construction cost inflation, high interest rates, lengthy project approval timelines and shortage of skilled construction workers. Some vendors are reluctant to list because they are waiting for prices to recover: however, we expect many are about to pull the trigger. 

The provincial government has now waded into war on supply by eliminating the ability of a strata corporation to enforce a rental restriction and age restrictions (save being 55 plus). With this came a promise of thousands of properties that will come to market, the reality is like that it may just be a few hundred. And those first-time home buyer/occupiers will be competing for units with investors as these formerly restricted units now become open for all. 

An indication of how quickly prices have changed is a recent notice from the BC Assessment Authority, which is preparing homeowners for sticker shock when assessment notices are mailed out in January. The caution reads


“2023 property assessments will be up in value about 5% to 15% for most homeowners despite the current declining real estate market – the reason being our legislated July 1 (2022) valuation date.” 

 
The best advice: buy a home this winter when everyone else feels frozen out of the market. Sellers will welcome you with open arms, and you will be glad you purchased, likely sooner than you expect.

 

Highlights of the November 2022 report: 

  • Every condo can now be a rental, opening investor opportunities

  • Gap between population growth and housing supply widening

  • November sales second lowest for that month since 1987

  • Richmond seeing sales recovery as foreign buyer ban looms

  • Some markets are experiencing the lowest average prices in years 

Here is a look at the regional markets and numbers:


Greater Vancouver

There were just 1,625 properties sold of all types in November compared with 1,923 sold a month earlier and 3,492 sales in November of 2021. Other than during the financial meltdown of 2008, where only 930 properties sold in November, the only November with a lower-sales level was 1987. Yes, 1987. Do you think there may be some pent-up demand building in the market? What’s interesting is how uneven sales are throughout the region. Some areas saw more sales this month compared to September. There is life creeping back into the real estate market. Just don’t tell the Bank of Canada (BOC), which is preparing the seventh increase in lending rates this year on December 7. We expect the increase will be 25 basis points, but it could go as high as 50 basis points if the BOC suspects the economy is improving and inflation is easing. The number of new listings in November dropped from October, 4,109 to 3,141 – far lower than the 4,036 in November 2021. The overall sales-to-new-listing ratio in November was 17.6%. By property type, the ratio is 13.2% for detached homes, 19.7% for townhomes, and 20.8% for apartments, while the composite benchmark is $1,131,600. This is a 0.6% decrease from November 2021, a 10.2% decline over the last six months, and down 1.5% compared to October 2022.  Basically, this means a buyer’s market, with less than one of five homes selling and prices falling month-over-month since the spring.  But, as the Chair of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver noted, in respect to rising immigration and the shortage of listings, “our market remains one demand surge away from renewed price escalation, despite the inflationary environment and elevated mortgage rates.”

Fraser Valley

Total home sales in the Valley were down 7% from October 2022 and off a whopping 57.5% from a year earlier, at just 839 transactions this November. New listings in November, at 1,703, were down 22% from October 2022 and down nearly 19% from November 2021. November ended with a total active inventory of 5,330, a 5.5% decrease compared to October, but 75% more than at the end of November last year. As for benchmark prices, at $1,404,900, the price for a detached home was down 2.2% compared to October 2022 and off 6.3% compared to November 2021. The townhomes benchmark price, at $799,400, was down 1.3% compared to October 2022 but up 3.3% from November 2021. At $518,400, the benchmark condo price decreased 1.8% compared to October 2022 and was up 5.2% from November a year earlier. Despite the slower action in November, the only Fraser Valley market with benchmark detached house prices under $1 million is Mission, at $941,200, a price up 43% from pre-pandemic 2019.

Vancouver Westside

Total housing sales in November were down 11% from a month earlier, at 342 transactions, the lowest level for the month since 2018. New Listings in November were down 13% compared to October 2022 and, due to slow sales in the two previous months, total active listings were 2,300 at month end, compared to 2,191 at that time last year and 2,355 at the end of October 2022. There is now an 8-month supply of homes on the market and the sales-to-listing ratio is running at 41%. If we ignore the historic pandemic market upswing, the benchmark detached house price, at $3,127,400, is up 10% from November of 2019 but has fallen 10.4% over the past six months. Benchmark townhouse prices are up 17.3% from three years ago but down 6.7% since June of 2022; condo benchmark prices are up 8.3% from 2019 but down 9.2% from six months ago. Something to watch: Vancouver’s new mayor and council are looking to overhaul the city’s Community Amenity Contributions to a less cumbersome fixed-rate charge for low-and-mid-rise strata projects, rather than time-consuming project-by-project negotiations.
 
Vancouver East Side

Wow, housing sales reached just 167 transactions in November, 14% lower than in October 2022, 57% below November of 2021 and even 8% lower than in November 2018. We find this hard to explain. By all measures the East Side should be much stronger: the new SkyTrain Subway coming; the new $2 billion St. Paul’s hospital underway; and provincial legislation that will allow higher density on detached house lots are among the reasons. The benchmark detached house price is now $1,716,500, about half the price as the Westside of the city and down nearly 12% from six months ago. One can buy an East Side condo apartment at a benchmark of $682,700, which is lower than North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, South Delta and even Port Moody. There are some stirrings, however. With total new listings down 24% from a month earlier, the sales-to-listing ratio is above 50% for both detached houses and condos. Prices and sales should begin to increase in what is technically a seller’s market, but which we see as a buyer’s opportunity.
 
North Vancouver

November housing sales were 149 and new listings were 252, resulting in a sales-to-listing ratio that ranged from 29% for townhouses to 61% for condos and 79% for detached houses. By any measure this remains a seller’s market, though the composite home price has fallen10% over the past six months, to $1,326,100.  There is a total 4-month supply of residential listings, which indicates a tilt towards a more balanced market.
 
West Vancouver

Only 28 homes sold in exclusive West Vancouver, where the composite home price in November was down 10% from six months earlier at a lofty $2,602,300. The typical detached house sells for $3,127,800, 19% higher than in pre-pandemic November 2019, but down 3.5% from November 2021. The inventory of residential listings is at a 25 month’s supply in this buyer’s market, where the sales-to-listing ratio is 25%, down from 70% in November 2021.
 
Richmond

The federal Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential property by Non-Canadians Act, passed earlier this year, comes into effect January 1, 2023. The Act bans foreign home buyers for two years, with fines of up to $10,000 for any industry player working with a foreign buyer. Total lunacy, when one considers that Ottawa is trying to boost immigration levels to record highs, but that is government for you. Richmond traditionally has a larger share of foreign owners than most of B.C. and we expect a small surge in foreign transactions by year-end, despite the onerous 20% tax on foreign home buyers. Sales in November were the same as in September 2022, though down 14% from October, at 210 transactions. The composite home price is $1,107,300, down 7.4% from six months ago. However, the sales to new listing ratio is 70% and there is 5-month's supply of homes listed for sale, with new listings down 35% from October 2022 and down 42% from a year ago. We are calling this a balanced market, with a chance for a sales rally before year-end. 
 
Burnaby East

Just 14 homes sold in November, the lowest for the month in years and even 18% below November 2018 and a startling 68% less than in November 2021 and 32% below October 2022. Still, more homes are being added to the market, with a total inventory of 88 properties at month’s end. The sales to listing ratio is 38%, also the lowest level in at least four years, and there is a six-month supply of residential properties on the market. November’s composite home price, at $1,107,700, was nearly 10% less than six months ago and down 1.6% from October 2022.  
 
Burnaby North

Total housing sales in November were 92 – down from 96 (-4%) in October 2022 and down from 137 (-33%) in pre-pandemic November 2019. The average detached house price is 30% higher than three years ago, but down 9.2% from May 2022, at $1,992,100 as of November. Condo sales dominate this market, mostly due to rapid development in the Brentwood area. Condo benchmark prices are now just 6% higher than a year ago, at $704,600, but have been declining steadily at 1% for the past six months. New listings were down 20% compared to October 2022 and 26% below November 2021. This is considered a balanced market with a sales-to-listing ratio of 48% over the past two months.
 
Burnaby South

Metrotown in Burnaby South is considered downtown Burnaby and the huge tower developments taking place attest to this. Land prices have soared: recently a 1.8-acre high-rise mixed-use residential land assembly at the corner of Willingdon and Kingsway Avenue sold for $145 million, or a stunning $80 million per acre. The current housing market is subdued, however, with November total sales down 3% from October 2002 and 23% less than in November 2021, at 118 transactions. The benchmark condo price is $752,300, unchanged from October 2022, but up 6% year-to-year and 27% higher than in pre-pandemic November 2019. Townhouses sell for $994,200, highest benchmark in Burnaby, and detached houses demand a benchmark of just over $2 million. This considered a seller’s market, as there is only a 4-month’s supply of total listings, and the sales-success ratio is running at a healthy 68%. 

New Westminster

It is not only housing sales, which fell 73% year-over-year in November to just 65 transactions, but housing starts that are worrisome in the Royal City. So far this year just 702 new homes have started in New Westminster, down from 1,327 at the same time in 2021. Condo starts are down 60% to 535 this year, but, thankfully, townhouse starts have nearly doubled to 106 units. New listings in November were down 12% from a month earlier and the total inventory, at 292, was 6% lower than in October 2022. After a 36% run-up over the past three years, the benchmark detached house price is now only 1% higher than a year ago, at $1,444,500 in November. Condos prices have slipped down 6% in the past six months, to a $628,600 benchmark, while townhouse prices are still up nearly 10% from a year ago at a benchmark of $893,200. With about a 4-month supply of total listings and a sales-to-listing ratio of 51%, New Westminster is a seller’s market and will remain so if listings remain low.

Coquitlam

Fast-growing Coquitlam is looking at changes – read increases – in development cost charges in 2023, but it is not likely to slow construction. This year more than 3,500 new homes have started in Coquitlam, including 3,000 apartments, nearly double the pace of 2021. 
As is the case in most markets, November sales were down, dropping 32% from October to 134 transactions, almost identical to November 2018 (135). The composite home price, at $1,057,000, is virtually unchanged (up 0.5%) from a year ago and 32% higher than three years ago in pre-pandemic November 2019. New listings in November were down 27% compared to October 2022 and 24% lower compared to November 2021. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 54% and a total inventory of 582 homes, this is a balanced market.

Port Moody

A 59-lot land assembly at Coronation Park has closed, four years after the detached houses were sold at an average of $2.6 million each, because the land development was finally approved. Now, of course the developer must go through rezoning and public hearings. So far this year 254 new multi-family homes have started in Port Moody and the city’s resale condo inventory jumped 21% month over month to a 7-month supply, the most new listings since May. A new city council has amended the city’s Development Approval Procedures Bylaw to allow applications to bypass review by the Land Use Committee and Advisory Design Panel, if they are being held up by an inability of the committees to meet. Housing sales in November fell 25% from month earlier and 46% year-over-year to just 33 transactions. The benchmark composite home price is $1,098,000, down 10% from six months ago, while the typical condo sells for $695,200, the highest price in the Tri-Cities and up 3.3% from a year earlier.

Port Coquitlam

Port Coquitlam is among the rare Greater Vancouver markets where the composite home price is below $1 million, at $894,300 in November. That failed to excite buyers, though, as sales fell to 39 transactions, down 37% from a month before and 69% lower compared to November 2021. Active listings at the end of the month totaled 183 properties, nearly unchanged from October 2022, though new listings were down 25%. This is a balanced market trending to a buyer’s advantage with a 5-month supply of properties and a sales success ratio above 40%.

Pitt Meadows

Aside from the Sunshine Coast, Pitt Meadows has the lowest composite home price in the Greater Vancouver region, at $865,300 in November. A drop in overall benchmark prices this year – down 13.2% in the past six months – has spurred sales with the highest month-over-month increase in the region. At 22 transactions, November housing sales were 5% higher than in October 2022 and 10% above September. This is reflected in total active listings, which were down 23% from October to 82 at the end of November. This is now a seller’s market with a sales-to-listing ratio at 78%, but with price opportunities for buyers

Maple Ridge

Prices and sales in Maple Ridge, which had been posting region-leading performance during the pandemic, have stalled with benchmark prices down or flat from a year ago and sales 53% lower. The November benchmark detached house is $1,182,900, down 17% over the past six months and 7.5% lower than three months ago. Total new listings are also tailing off, dropping 17% month-over-month, with active listings down 8% to 543 properties at the end of November 2022. The sales-to-listing ratio is running at 49%, however, in this balanced-but-bending to a buyer’s market.

Ladner

Detached house active listings are almost double where they were last year at this time while townhouses and condos are only sitting with 9 and 7 listings, respectively – condos have a 1-month supply. One has to wonder why there is so little development given the proximity to Vancouver – more growth is needed. Total housing sales in November fell 24% from a month earlier to 16, which was lower than in pre-pandemic November of 2018 and 2019. New listings were down 38% from October 2022 and there is now a generous 5-month supply with 83 active listings. The composite home price in Ladner is up just 0.6% year-to-year to $1,071,700, but prices of all property types have fallen by in the past six months. The benchmark detached house is down 16% since May 2022 to $1,298,700. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 70% in November, Ladner is a balanced market with a lack of inventory in the strata market.

Tsawwassen

Tsawwassen is among those detached housing markets which is giving back the huge price gains seen during the pandemic. November benchmark detached prices were 34% higher than in November 2019 but have fallen 15.5% over the past six months and dropped a further 4.2% from October 2022, to $1,464,800. Total residential sales in November, at 31, were 14% lower than three years earlier and down 15% from this October but were higher than in September 2022. Yet, technically this is a balanced-to-seller’s market because as new listings plunged 52% from October 2022, the sales-to-listing ratio hit 102%, about the same as during the red-hot market a year ago. There are now 150 properties for sale in Tsawwassen, equal to a 5-month supply. A sudden surge in sales could erase that supply, however, and put a plank under local prices.

Surrey

Sales in B.C.’s second-largest city have fallen sharply this year, with detached house transactions in November down 67.4% from a year earlier and off 8.5% from October 2002. Prices are firming, however, with the detached benchmark down just 3.7% year-to-year at $1,538,700. Condo apartment sales, aside from some strong pre-sale action in Central Surrey, were down 62% in November compared to a year earlier, at 120 sales, while sales of townhouses dropped 55% from year earlier to 120 transactions. Townhouse benchmark prices have stabilized, up 1.3% year-over-year to $821,400. The lowest price and biggest selection of condos are found in North Surrey, where there are 356 on the market and the benchmark price is $478,500.

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Sept 2022 - DEXTER Report The worst of times; the best of times in the Metro Vancouver housing market
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” Charles Dickens
 

The worst of times; the best of times in the Metro Vancouver housing market

 

Highlights of the September 2022 Dexter Report

  • Five markets have composite home prices under $1 million

  • Home prices down for the sixth month in a row

  • Detached housing now firmly in a buyer’s market

  • Total residential sales in September test a 30-year low, but not as low as 2018, 2012 and 2008

  • Greater Vancouver condo sales are down 45.2% from a year ago

  • Surrey detached house sales tumble 67% year-over-year

 

To paraphrase Charles Dickens – as it relates to the housing market – these are the worst of times, these are the best of times, as we enter an Autumn that is also an anomaly.

 

Like the weather, the housing market is glorious for some but unnerving for others. We welcome the mild weather but wonder what it means in the long term. While we are happy to see a slight increase in homes for sale and prices coming off all-time highs, we are saddled with a lack of buyers and the market’s direction for inventory of homes. Many of us are also concerned about the political impact on the housing supply following upcoming municipal elections and the replacement of the provincial premier this year. There’s talk of supply, but we all know what talk really means.


September underscored all these concerns and contradictions. The benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver marked the six consecutive monthly decline to settle at $1,555,300, yet it is still the highest in the country and up nearly 4% from a year ago.


New listings of homes in September were 18% below the 10-year average, though the total number of active listings increased to 10,424 at month end (up 3% from August), because only 40% of new listings sold.

Sales of apartments, which had been leading the market for months, suddenly dropped 45.2% in September compared to September 2021, to just 888 transactions. Sales of detached houses and townhouses in Greater Vancouver totaled just 799 in September, down 44.7% and 52.6%, respectively from the same month a year earlier.

While balance is the theme based on the supply of homes available, the market is very much acting like a buyer’s market in many areas and product types.  Yet we are hearing of more multiple offers occurring as buyers bid on properties just as other buyers want in as well. 

A strange market indeed, and little wonder that many buyers and sellers have decided to sit it out and wait for the drama to settle. But, that may be a mistake for those buyers looking to (finally) get into a detached house in some municipalities. 

Consider this: as the bellwether 5-year mortgage bank rate increased by 1.95% in the last six months, the price of a detached house in East Vancouver has fallen 10.6% at the same time; it has dropped by 13.4% in North Vancouver and by double-digits in East and South Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Ladner, compared to April 2022. 

The benchmark detached house price in Greater Vancouver is now $173,400 less than it was six months ago, and it has fallen by $270,000 in the Fraser Valley.
That covers a lot of mortgage payments.
 
Political moves: There are politics at play in the housing market with upcoming elections and the change in the premiership of the province as both will intrude on the Metro Vancouver housing market. 

At the municipal level, it seems assured that any new governments elected October 15 will try to increase the supply of new homes (or at least they should), but they will be primarily rentals, not strata houses. As of September 1, across Metro Vancouver, starts of new townhouses were down 30% from a year earlier and condo starts had plunged 42%, while new rental housing starts had increased 30% compared to 2021. Think about how townhouses have been the most sought-after product in our market over the last few years. Perhaps they this report should be part of required reading.

At the provincial level, the pretty much decided incoming premier, in fact, issued a new housing policy. It will likely face pushback from municipalities and strata corporations. And, if it ever does become law, it will prove more of a boon to real estate investors and speculators than to those seeking to buy more affordable homes.
Two examples: the new provincial housing policy includes a $500 million taxpayer fund to allow non-profits and tenants to purchase old “affordable” rental apartment buildings that come up for sale. This will simply increase the price of these aging properties and put taxpayers and former tenants on the hook for repairs and upgrades. The province has a record of paying far above assessment values for rental property. The policy would also allow the province to remove any ban on rentals in strata projects, despite Strata Corp.’s regulations; opening more supply for investors and allow for them to rent out their investment. 


Bottom line: Buy the dip. Lower home prices since the spring now trump the modest rise in mortgage rates; and the modest increase in supply of homes for sale coupled with decreased demand allows room for careful shopping and price negotiations. Further, with immigration expected to hit record highs over the next two years and the price of residential land continuing to rise – it is now at $20 million per acre in most of Greater Vancouver – long-term home prices will go up again.

 

Here is a close-up of regional markets

 
Greater Vancouver: September total housing sales, at 1,701 were still higher than in September of 2018, 2012 and 2008, which were the lowest levels for that month in 30 years. Sales were down 47% from September 2021. The composite home price, at $1,155,300, was up 3.9% from September 2021, but down 8.5% over the past six months, including a 2.1% decline compared to August 2022.  The composite home price has been falling by about $6,000 per week since April.  The good news is that new listings were up 27% from August 2022, and active listings at end of September were at 10,424, compared to 9,728 at that time last year and 3% higher than at the end of this August. The supply of total residential listings is up to 6 month’s supply, while the sales-to-listings ratio of 40% compares to 56% in August 2022 and 60% in September 2021.  This market is technically balanced but leaning towards a buyer’s market, especially in the detached house sector. 
 
Fraser Valley: The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed a total of 897 sales in September, a decrease of 11.8% compared to August 2022 and down 51.9 % compared to this time last year. With 2,272 new listings added in September, total listings were 5,805, up 52.3 per cent from a year ago. The sales-to-active listings are down to 15%, which the Board claims is ‘balanced’ but it looks more like a buyer’s market. All sectors saw benchmark price declines from a month earlier, with detached house prices down 3.4% to $1,462,000; townhouses off 2.3% to $822,400 and condo apartments slipping down 2.1% to $530,400.  Prices have been decreasing month-over-month since April and the Board stated: “we anticipate prices may continue to decline across all categories.” 
 
Vancouver Westside: Prices are defying the sales dip. In the first nine months of 2022, detached house sales on the Westside have fallen 24% compared to a year earlier and September detached sales reached just 54 transactions, down from 82 in September 2021. Yet the median detached house price in September was up more than 10% from both a month and year earlier, at $3,395,000. In fact, despite slower sales, the median price of both townhouses and condos were also higher in September than in the same month last year, with townhouses also up an average of $300,000 compared to a month earlier at $1,619,500, based on 33 sales in September. Apartment median prices are holding steady in the $810,000 range. The price resilience on the West Side is the envy of Metro Vancouver. Total sales in September were 301, down 21% from August 2022 and 47% below September 2021. Active Listings were at 2,378 at month end, up 4% a month earlier and new listings were up 23% compared to August 2022. The Westside is now a buyer’s market, but do not expect to see lower prices, despite the sales-to-listing ratio falling to 33%, the lowest level since 2018.
 
Vancouver East Side: The East Side is a relative bargain right now, but based on zoning, non-residential development and what land is selling for, expect prices to rise over the next few months. In September, for example a 1.2-acre land assembly for new townhouses in the Grandview-Woodlands area sold for the equivalent of $20 million per acre. Add in high construction costs, city development fees and other soft costs, and we are talking about perhaps the most expensive townhouses ever marketed east of Quebec Street. With the incredible job-generating development on the 450-acre False Creek Flats ramping up, and the density zoning along the new Broadway subway line, this could be the last year that the East Side is considered relatively affordable. This September, the median price of a detached house was $1,660,000, down more than $100,000 from both August 2020 and September of last year. At a median of $612,500, East Side condo apartments are less expensive than in Burnaby, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, or Richmond and nearly $200,000 less than on the Westside. The East Side is considered a balanced market, with a total 6-month supply of listings, a sales-to-listings ratio at 40% and total sales down 51% from a year ago. But don’t be fooled: the East Side is a prime market for savvy buyers who see where Vancouver is heading, 
 
North Vancouver: Affordable housing is the main election issue for 50% of North Vancouver residents, according to a recent survey. And for good reason. Housing starts of all types are down this year and, as of the end of September, there were only 639 homes listed for sale. It is only a low 32% sales-to-listing ratio that is keeping the inventory at a 5-month supply. The result is that, despite slower sales, North Vancouver benchmark detached house prices have barely budged in a year, down 0.5% from September 2021 to $2,092,700 in September 2022. Only West Vancouver and Vancouver West Side have more expensive houses.  In September total North Vancouver home sales reached 128 transactions, up 4% from a month earlier but down 44% from September of last year. Condo apartment sales are down 50% from a year ago, but the benchmark condo price is $787,200, up 6.5% from September 2021. 
 
West Vancouver: It may be because, with the highest household incomes in B.C., rising mortgage rates have less effect on the housing market, but West Vancouver appears to blithely ignore the current turmoil. Total housing sales in September were down 41% from a year earlier, to 42 transactions, but total listings are almost the same, at 599. The sales-to-listing ratio is a sluggish 22%, the lowest in four years. Yet the benchmark home price is up 1.2% from a year ago and a West Vancouver detached house price has also remained constant from September 2021, up 2.6% to $3,264,900. This is technically a buyer’s market for those who can afford it.
 
Richmond: The current inventory of 1,279 active listings is among the healthiest in suburban markets and low sales – just 210 in September, down 51% from September of last year and down 4% from a month earlier – should keep the supply growing. New listings were up 25% from August 2022 and the sales-to-listing ratio is running at 45% in what is seen as a balanced market. The benchmark detached house price is down a modest 5.2% from six months ago to $2,081,500; townhouses benchmark at just over $1 million and 115 condos sold in September at a benchmark price of $703,900.
 
Burnaby East: Only 17 homes of all types sold in September, down 55% from the same month last year and the lowest level since September 2018, when an avalanche of government anti-demand measures came into force. The composite home price is $1,113,200, down 6.6% from six months ago, and the detached house price has dropped 11.2% in the same period to $1,784,800. New listings in September are flat compared to August 2022 and down 45% compared to September 2021. The inventory of total listings is steady at a 4 month’s supply, which is seen as a seller’s market with a sales-to-listings ratio of 63%. 
 
Burnaby North: Total housing sales in September were down 41% from a year earlier to 111 transactions, while total active listings were 431 at month’s end, down 4% from a month earlier and 41% below September 2021. This is a seller’s market with just a 4-month supply of listings and the sales-to-listing ratio of a robust 57%. The composite benchmark home price is down 5.8% from six month ago to $997,800, the only Burnaby market below $1 million. 
 
Burnaby South: Detached house prices dropped 10.2% over the past six months to $2,079,400 as total sales in September dropped 22% from a month earlier and 48% from a year before, to just 96 transactions. Condo benchmark prices are down 6.6% since April, when interest rates began increasing, to $750,300. Active listings were 454 at month end compared to 547 at that time last year, and up 5% at the end of August 2022. This is considered a balanced market with a sales-to-listing ratio of 44% and a 5-month’s supply of homes for sale.
 
New Westminster: Just 9 detached houses, 7 townhouses and 51 condo apartments sold in the Royal City in September. Total transactions are the lowest in decades, 4% below even the slow market in September 2018. Prices have been falling about 1% since April and settled at $808,500 in September. Condos, the biggest seller, have seen benchmark prices drop 5.2% in the last six months and were down 2.6% from August to $633,800. The housing inventory is holding at a 4-month supply and the sales-to-listing ratio was 39% in September, a sharp drop from 65% a month earlier. For these reasons, New Westminster remains a seller’s market, despite the slow sales and price declines.

Coquitlam: A huge increase in new homes is coming to Central Coquitlam as a total of 18 towers, including six condo towers with 3,000 homes, was approved for the corner of Lougheed Highway and Barnet Highways in late September. The first of the new units are two to three years away from occupancy, however. Currently, there are about 683 total active listings on the Coquitlam market, including 151 new listings for condo apartments in September. Total home sales in September reached 142 homes, down 10% from a month earlier and 43% below September 2021. Condo sales are down 40% year-over-year and the benchmark price is 5.6% lower at $661,900. Detached houses, with 52 transactions, are selling at a benchmark of $1,779,200, down 8.4% from six months ago. This remains a seller’s market, however, with a sales-to-listings ratio at 44% and just a 4-month supply of homes.

Port Moody: Bucking a Metro trend, Port Moody saw total home sales leap 61% in September from a month earlier, though they were down 21% from a year before, with 53 transactions in September. The composite benchmark price was 5.4% lower than in April and 3% below August 2022, at $1,140,500. Detached houses are selling at a benchmark of $2,073,900, one of the highest prices in the region, but the price has been dropping slightly and steadily for six straight months. The inventory of total residential listings is down to 4-month’s supply in this seller’s market with a high sales-to-listing ratio of 60%.

Port Coquitlam: Just 40 homes sold in the smallest Tri-City community during September, down 36% from August 2022 and 49% lower than in September of last year. The benchmark house price posted the biggest drop in the Tri-Cities, falling 15.9% over the past six months to settle at $1,314,200. Townhouse prices are down 10.6% in the same period to $910,400, while condo prices have dropped 7.6% to $603,900, which is exactly the same as in the smaller Pitt Meadows community. The inventory is rising – new listings were up 20% from August 2022 and the sales-to-listing ratio is running at 40%. Technically a seller’s market, the sales and price trajectory indicate that buyers may find bargains this fall in Port Coquitlam.

Pitt Meadows: A mild sales rally in September, with transactions up 18% from a month earlier, disguises a quiet housing market as just 20 properties sold, down 51% from a year earlier. More homes are being listed, with 108 now on the market and new listings up 28% from August 2022. With the composite benchmark home price at $897,000, down 15% in the past six months, and the sales-to-listing ratio at 36%, this market is trending from a balanced to a buyer’s market. 

Maple Ridge: One of the hottest housing markets over the past two years, activity as slowed as the pandemic eased. Sales were down 37% from year earlier, despite a 12% bump from August, for total transactions of 115 in September. Active listings, at 614 as of month end, were up from 320 at the same time last year and 2% higher than at the end of August. The composite benchmark home price has dropped 16.5% since April, the biggest price correction in Metro Vancouver. The typical detached house is down 17.1% in the same six-month period to $1,229,800. With a 5-month’s supply of total residential listings and a sales-to-listings ratio of 40%, compared to 79% in September 2021, Maple Ridge looks very welcoming to buyers.

 
Ladner: Ladner, where the local government is trying to revitalize the waterfront area downtown, has lost its bloom from the roaring housing market of a year or two ago. Total residential sales in September reached just 20 transactions, down 26% from a month earlier, 47% lower than in September 2021 and 62% below the pace in the midst of the pandemic in September 2020. Virtually no new homes, aside from subsidized rentals, are underway. Benchmark prices for detached houses are down 12.7% from six months earlier and dropped nearly 5% compared to August 2022, at $1,355,600. Townhouse prices have been declining about 1.5% month-over-month since spring, but condo apartment prices are holding relatively steady, up 1.1% from a year ago, at $708,900. This a balanced market with a sales-to-listing ratio of 50% and a 5-month’s supply of homes.

Tsawwassen: Total housing sales in September were down 63% from a year earlier and 16% lower than a month earlier to just 21 transactions, lower even than in September 2018, which is considered a 30-year low. Condo prices are holding their value – up 14% from a year ago and down just 0.4% over the past six months – but detached house benchmark prices have declined 8.4% since April to $1,540,500, and townhouse prices have dropped 10.3% in the same period to $932,900. New listings in September were down 8% compared to August 2022 and down 21% compared to September 2021. This is a buyer’s market, with a 9-month’s supply of homes for sale and a sales-to-listing ratio of 36%, down from 78% a year ago.

Surrey: B.C.’s second-largest city saw detached house sales drop by 67% in September compared to a year earlier, and down 18% from August 2022 to just 125 transactions. The average detached house price in September was down 4.6% month-over-month to $1,561,275. Both townhouse and condo apartment sales are now down 52% from a year ago and down about 20% from August 2022. Strata prices are holding firm, with the average townhouse price up 5.4% year-over-year and unchanged from a month earlier at $837,617. The average price for a condo apartment is down 4.1% from August 2022 to $517,742.

 

Download September Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos


Download September Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

 

Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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August 2022 - DEXTER REPORT -  New listings, housing starts flirt with record lows in August

Highlights of our August 2022 report 

  • Total new listings in August the lowest in more than 28 years 

  • Ladner townhouses and condos fall to 1-month supply 

  • At least six major condo projects have stopped or stalled this year

  • Existing condos, townhouses can’t be replaced at their current value 

  • Surrey strata housing starts fall 69% this year compared to 2021

  • Port Coquitlam is down to 2 months supply overall and 1 month supply for townhouses

The major takeaway from the Metro Vancouver housing market is that both the number of new listings and the numbers of new homes being built are flirting with record lows. New listings of homes for sale fell to 3,383 in August, the lowest level in more than 28 years, while starts of new strata units plunged 43% year-over-year as of August 1, to just 6,596 new units – and this includes all Greater Vancouver plus Surrey and Langley.


Understanding the pull back in resale listings is not difficult.  This August offered the distraction of splendid weather and the lifting of COVID travel and other restrictions for the first summer in two years. Plus, a slowdown in home sales, rising interest rates and flatlining prices convinced many potential sellers to hesitate in listing their property.  We fully expect that the return to school and work this fall will see the traditional rise in home listings and sales. 


Reasons for the dramatic drop in non-rental homes being built are more complicated and it is harder to estimate when starts will begin to increase. Without a dramatic adjustment, we could be looking at a shortage of new homes in Metro Vancouver to continue for months, perhaps years, despite all the calls to increase the housing supply. At the end of 2021, 17 new strata projects in Metro Vancouver were being advertised as “coming soon” and had plans to begin marketing in early spring. Of these, six have been delayed and the other 11 could not provide an opening date for a launch, or the developers said marketing of pre-sales would not proceed until this fall. 


Of the 8 new strata projects that did decide to test pre-sales in August – with, of course, no construction underway – average sales totaled about 20% of the units offered – the same as in June and July and down from the 30% to 40% sales success in the summer of 2021. The simple reason is that developers, facing historically high land prices, higher government fees and charges, and soaring construction costs, cannot deliver a new condo or townhouse that is priced anywhere close to that of the resale market.


One of the last big condo tower blowout sales in downtown Vancouver – which sold out in 2020 – had an average price per square foot of more than $2,000.  New projects going up the Cambie/Oakridge area are asking $3,000 per square foot, as are new towers planned for Coal Harbour. The average new condo or townhouse price is more than $1,600 per square foot, while resale prices on Vancouver’s West Side average $1,200 per square foot and are $837 per square foot or less in East Vancouver and most suburban markets. 


Dexter Realty alone has an existing downtown Vancouver condo on Howe Street listed at $1,200 per square foot; a Kitsilano 724-square-foot wood-frame condo on West 3rd Avenue listed at $699,000 ($965 per square foot); and an exceptional 836-square-foot 2-bedroom concrete condo in New Westminster priced at $529,000, the equivalent of $632 per square.


Based on current developer costs, none of these existing condos could be reproduced today at the current listing price. For example, in the city of Vancouver, city development fees and charges alone average $186,000 on a new condo, and this does not include the federal GST which nails another 5% to the cost to the consumer, or the 30% increase in building material costs over the past year.


How crazy are residential development land prices getting? This August, a 1.3-acre land assembly of three detached house lots in Langley near a proposed new SkyTrain extension sold for $18 million – the equivalent of nearly $14 million an acre. The assembly has potential for 159 new townhouses, but each would have more than $118,000 baked in just for land costs. Similar scenarios are seen across the Metro region.


Now, there is concern that rental projects will also be put on hold because the cost of development outstrips the level of market rent that can be achieved. One rental developer explained that her input costs totaled $200 per buildable square foot meaning “the pro-forma for a rental doesn’t work at all.”


Of course the elephant in the room continues to be supply. Even with the discussion turning to the need to produce more, immigration levels are only beginning to ramp up and the need for homes is only going to intensify. This month we’ll see what the allowable rental increase for 2023 will be, and for a rental market that is seeing extreme pressure due to a lack of rental supply, that’s only going to lead to higher rents and competition in that part of the market.


The best advice for first-time buyers or investors is to purchase right now while there is a clear buyer’s advantage and to purchase a resale condo in transit-rich areas like East Vancouver, New Westminster and Surrey, where we are seeing a ballooning shortage of both new rental and strata properties.


Meanwhile for family buyers, it is time to refocus on the detached market, which has seen the sharpest sales slowdown this year of any property type.


August sales of detached houses in Greater Vancouver fell 45.3% from August 2021 and benchmark house prices have been dropping an average of 2.2 % month-over-month since February. In August, only 12.2% of detached active house listings sold (8 months supply), compared to 25% for strata units (4 months supply).


In the Fraser Valley, the benchmark price for a single-family detached house decreased 5.1% (about $71,000) compared to a month earlier. 


Detached houses are in a buyer’s market right now and serious buyers should take full advantage. Markets to watch for detached house values are the West Side of Vancouver, where the median house price fell by $400,000 from July to August, even as sales increased; and North Vancouver and Richmond, where median prices for detached houses were down $185,000 and $100,000, respectively, in August from July.

Detached house values are largely based on the value of land, which is becoming a scarce and expensive commodity across Metro Vancouver. So, think long term as always in real estate.

 

Regional highlights for August 2022 


Greater Vancouver: There were a total of 1,891 home sales in August, down just 1% from July 2022 but 23% lower than in August 2021 and even 14% lower than in August 2019. Active Listings were at 10,099 at month end compared to 9,494 at that time last year and 10,734 (down 6%) at the end of July. New Listings in August are down 17% compared to July 2022 and 13% lower than in August 2021. The total supply of residential listings is down to 5 month’s supply (balanced market conditions) and the sales to listings ratio of 56% compared to 47% in July 2022 and 77% in August 2021. The benchmark composite home price was $1,180,500. This was down 2.2% compared to July 2022 but a 7.4 per cent increase over August 2021.


The market is very much acting like a buyer’s market in many areas and product types. Subject to sale is coming into play more and more, and buyers can have time with subjects. Multiple offers will happen but not to the same extent we saw earlier this year. And certainly not with the same fever that has been occurring in the last two years. And while the condo market in the last few months has been stronger, in August in many areas sales of detached and townhouses outpaced the number of sales in July. Perhaps settling into the interest rate climate we are in and buyers taking advantage of price declines that have happened in that market segment


Fraser Valley: In August, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,017 sales, an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to July 2022 but a 51.3% decrease compared to August 2021. New listings reached 2,045, down 14.3% from July and 2.9% below August 2021. While all benchmark prices were up from a year earlier, detached house prices were down 5.1% from July 2022, to $1,513,500; townhouse prices were down 3.9% month-over-month and condo apartment prices fell 2.1% from July 2022.


Vancouver Westside: Detached houses on Vancouver’s Westside have long been the poster child of B.C.’s high housing prices and soaring sales. That changed somewhat as of August. With 57 sales in the month, detached house transactions were slightly higher than a month earlier but nearly 50% below August 2021, when 107 houses sold. But the median price of a Westside detached house in August, at $3,050,000 was down $300,000 from July 2022 and more than $280,000 less than in August of last year. Total sales of all property types in August reached 380 transactions, up 3% from July 2020 but down 15% from a year earlier. Townhouse prices, at a median of $1,300,000 were down more than $200,000 from both a month and a year earlier. Condos, which led sales with 282 transactions in August, saw the median price reach $829,000, down slightly from July 2022, but up from the median of $775,000 in August 2021. Total active listings were at 2,279 at month end compared to 2,389 at that time last year and 2,453 (down 7%) at the end of July 2020. New listings in August are down 12% compared to July 2022 and down 19% compared to August 2021. The current sales-to-listings ratio of 52% compares to 44% in July 2022 and 65% in August 2021. This remains in a balanced market, but the detached housing sector is into a buyer’s advantage.


Vancouver East Side: We believe the East Side represents one of the best housing markets in the Metro region and August proved the point. There were the same number of detached sales on the East as the West side of Vancouver, at 57, but the median house price on the East Side, at $1,768,000 was $1.28 million less than on the Westside – and East Side detached prices, unlike the Westside and most of Greater Vancouver, were higher than in July 2022 and in August 2021. A further surprise is that East Side townhouse prices, at a median of $1,384,500 in August, and sales, at 52, were the highest of any market in Metro Vancouver, including the Westside. Total housing sales were 196 in August, down just 1% from a month earlier. Active listings were at 1,103 at month end compared to 1,090 at that time last year and down 7% at the end of July 2022. New listings in August were down 24% compared to July 2022, and 22% lower compared to August 2021. The overall sales-to-listings ratio is 59% compared to 45% in July 202 and 69% in August 2021. While detached homes show buyer’s market sales, the other sectors remain a seller’s market and that is not likely to change anytime soon.


North Vancouver: There is new residential construction underway in North Vancouver this year, but it is dominated by rentals. As of August 1, for instance, 742 rental units had started, compared to just 202 strata units, including just 39 townhouses. Meanwhile, new listings of homes for sale in August were down 25% compared to a month earlier and total listings were only 524 at month end, down 8% from July. With 126 total sales in August, down 27% from a month earlier, prices for all types of property were also lower, despite a healthy sales-to-listing ratio of 56%. The median detached house price in August was $1,835,000, down from $2,020,000 in July; while townhouse prices were slightly lower at a median of $1,300,000; and condo apartment prices were down about $25,000 from July, at $700,219.


West Vancouver: Due to policy changes late last year which caused a rush of permit applications to beat a January 31 deadline, West Vancouver is facing a huge backlog of applications so don’t expect many new homes to start this year. The entire housing market is down, with 53 sales in August, 13% lower than in July and down 21% from a year earlier. The overall benchmark composite home price, at $2,774,00 has barely budged in six months and was down 1.3% from this July. Active listings were at 565 at month end compared to 536 at that time last year and 580 (down 3%) at the end of July. The August sales-to-listings ratio of 35% compares to 32% in July 2022 and 52% in August 2021. This buyer’s market remains relatively slow but stable. 


Richmond: Richmond August housing sales, at 226, were higher than in July, increasing just 1% month over month, but down 33% from August 2021. Benchmark detached house prices have been slipping lower each month for six months and dipped a further 1% from July to $2,111,300. A shortage of strata units is looming, however, which may put a floor under strata prices. Richmond has seen several condo projects put on hold and the result is that just 282 new condo units have started this year, compared to 916 at the same time in 2021. Townhouse starts fell about 12% from last year to 96 units. Total new listings in August were down 13% compared to July 2022 and down 30% compared to August 2021, and even 27% lower than in August 2019. The supply of total residential listings is steady at 6 month’s supply and the sales- to-listings ratio of 60% compares to 52% in July 2022 and 82% in August 2021. This is technically a buyer’s market but appears to be leaning this summer to a buyer’s advantage, especially in the detached-house sector.


Burnaby East: Burnaby East posted the lowest sales of any Burnaby area, with just 20 transactions in August, the lowest level for that month in at least three years and down 9% from July 2020. The benchmark composite home price has now dropped nearly 8% over the past six months to settle at $1,109,000 in August. Active Listings were at 75 at month end compared to 83 at that time last year and 68 at the end of July. New listings in August are down 18% compared to July 2022 and 47% lower compared to August 2021. This remains a seller’s market, with a sales-to-listings ratio of 74%. 


Burnaby North: By this time next year, giant Grosvenor will have construction underway for 3,500 homes, including about 900 strata units in the Brentwood Block in the Brentwood Town Centre. Meanwhile the benchmark price for a Burnaby North condo apartment in August was down 2.4% from a month earlier to $717,300, but still 11.5% higher than a year ago. Total housing sales in August were 120, down 3% from July 2022, and 34% lower when compared to August 2021. Active listings were 448 at month end, 6% less than at the end of July. New listings were down 22% compared to July 2022, and the lowest level for August since 2019. The sales-to-listings ratio of 63% is down from 76% a year ago but this market retains a seller’s advantage.


Burnaby South: Benchmark prices for detached houses and townhouses have been tracking down steadily, with detached houses shedding 9.2% in value since June to $2,105,200 in August, while townhouses have dropped 9.5% in the past three months to $964,300. Still, with active listings down 12% from July, total sales down 2% in the same period and the sales-to-listing ratio running at 73% in August, Burnaby South remains a hot seller’s market. The condo market is especially strong with benchmark prices down just 1.2% from the February peak at $776,300, the highest condo price in Burnaby.


New Westminster: If it were not for 452 subsidized rentals, few new housing starts would have registered in New Westminster this year. As it was, starts of strata units fell to just 185 homes through the first seven months of 2022, compared to 1,255 strata starts – including 65 townhouses – at the same time in 2021. This may be bad news for future buyers because active listings in August were down to just 280 homes and new listings were down 20% from a month earlier to the lowest level since at least August 2019. With 77 sales in August, the sales-to-listing ratio was 65%, compared to 88% a year earlier. Benchmark prices for all property types have been declining, however, led by a 11.1% reduction in detached house prices from six months earlier to $1,450,100 in August. Townhouse and condo apartment prices have been slipping down for three months to settle at $922,800 and $651,000, respectively.


Coquitlam: More strata housing starts are being seen this year – a total of 1,342 units as of August 1 – in the Tri-Cities than any other market in the Lower Mainland and the bulk of the activity is in Coquitlam. This bodes well for a municipality where August sales – at 157 – were up 11% from July and where the sales-to-listing ratio is at 59%. This is down from 93% a year ago, but still one of the strongest in Metro Vancouver. Both active and new listings were down slightly from a month earlier, with a total of 616 homes available at the end of August. The benchmark composite price was down 2.6% from July and off nearly 6% from six months earlier, at $1,104,000 in August. Detached houses sold at a benchmark of $1,794,700n in August, while townhomes fetched $1,058,000 and condo prices were down 1.7% from July at a benchmark of $669,200.


Port Moody: Total homes sold in August were 33 – down from 45 (- 27%) in July 2022 and down from 57 (-42%) in August 2021. Active listings were at 202 at month end compared to 155 at that time last year and 203 (down just 0.5%) at the end of July. New Listings in August are down 7% compared to July 2022. Month’s supply of total residential listings is up to 6 month’s supply (balanced market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 43% compared to 54% in July 2022 and 73% in August 2021. The benchmark composite home price in August was $1,175,200, reflective of the higher detached-house values in the Belcarra neighbourhood. 


Port Coquitlam: Total housing sales in August were 78, up 10% from July 2022 but, down 20% compared to August 2021. But total active listings dropped 16% from a month earlier to 178, resulting in a sales-to-listing ratio of 76%, one of the highest in Greater Vancouver. There is just a 2-month supply of homes on the market. Benchmark prices, however, remain relatively low at a composite price of $917,200 in August, with detached houses selling for $1,328,100 a price down 13% from six months earlier and nearly 5% lower than in July 2022.


Pitt Meadows: Just 17 homes sold during August, down 13% from July and 56% lower than in pre-pandemic August 2019. The surge in sales and prices seen through the pandemic has clearly eased. The August benchmark detached house price was down 17.6% from six months earlier, at $1,253,800 and townhouse prices were down 5.6% in the same period to $905,500. Active listings nearly doubled from July to 96 at the end of August and new listings were 16% higher than a year earlier. With a sales-to-listing ratio at 39% - compared to 85% during the height of the pandemic in August 2020 – this market is tracking towards a buyer’s advantage. 


Maple Ridge: With 113 total sales in August, up 5% from a month earlier, Maple Ridge posted a respectable 48% sales-to-listing ratio, indicating a balanced market but with sellers having a slight advantage. There were 602 active listings at the end of August, down from 655 at the end of July. The detached house benchmark price was down nearly 13% from six months earlier, at $1,279,200. Townhouses sold in August at benchmark of $750,700, down 5.3% from a month earlier and 14.6% below the price six months ago. 


Ladner: Anyone who has driven past the exit to Ladner this year has seen the profusion of strata units, primarily townhouses, that sprang up over the past two years. And they continue to sell well, posting a 128% sales-to-listing ratio as 9 townhouses sold at a benchmark price of $884,800 in August, a price down, however, from $965,444 a month earlier. There is only a 1-month supply of townhouses on the Ladner market. Total sales in August of all properties were 27, up 108% from July. Total active listings were 99 at the end of August, down 12% from July and disappearing at sales ratio of 88%, compared to 32% a month earlier. Ladner remains a seller’s market, but there is just a total of 4-month’s supply of homes available.


Tsawwassen: Just 9 detached houses sold in Tsawwassen in August, the lowest level of any month since January of 2020. Yet, the average detached house price in August was $1,704,988, up 4% from a month earlier and well above the average of $1,540,600 in August of last year. Total August sales of all property reached only 25 transactions, down 11% from July and 66% below August of 2021. So far, prices are sticky, but this may change if sales continue to decline. The sales-to-listing ratio fell to 40% in August, down from 112% a year earlier and the lowest ratio in at least three years. 


Surrey: The bloom came off the rosy Surrey housing market in August as detached house sales fell to 152 transactions, down 60.8% from a year earlier. Townhouse sales were down nearly 45% year over year and condo apartment sales, at 169, were 41.7% lower than in August 2021. Still, total sales were slightly higher than in July 2022 and benchmark prices held their own. The average detached house price in August was $1,636,086, down just 1.6% from July, with townhouse selling for $837,902, down 4.4% from a month earlier. The 169 condo sales in August traded at an average of $539,597, virtually unchanged from July 2021 but up nearly 12% from August of 2021. Surrey, however, has seen a fast decline in strata starts this year, with a total of 698 condo and townhouse started so far, compared to 2,321 in the first seven months of 2021. 

 

Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” Eleanor Roosevelt
 

Which Way Do We Go?


So, what’s changed since May? Certainly not the headlines and continued anticipation and anxiety about real estate? The US Feds have increased their interest rate by 75 points this week, not too much of a surprise. As well they have started the discussion of another 75 point hike in July. And the Bank of Canada raised their rate by 50 points at the start of June, but now the talk is about whether they will move to a 75 point increase as well. Interest rate increases this year were expected as we moved into 2022, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to see them increasing. The question for real estate will be what effect it will have on the market – both activity and prices. What is clear at this point, sales activity is decreasing – as expected. Prices, some moderation is happening. Although it surprising that the changes are not equal through the market. And when the Cullen Report on money laundering came out yesterday, it spoke to the lack of supply and interest rates as driving unaffordability issues in our real estate market. Even with interest rate increases, supply will still continue to be an issue. 


Here is some perspective on Metro Vancouver’s real estate market. If you are reacting to month-to-month swings? Don’t. Longer term, values hold and increase. There will always be troughs and peaks, that’s what markets do. The last three peaks lead to troughs as shown below.

In 2008 it was the financial crisis. In 2016 it was the provincial government introducing measures to cool the market, in the form of a foreign buyer’s tax of 15%, restrictions on assignments followed up by the City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax. In 2018 the foreign buyer’s tax was increased to 20% and expanded to other locations in the province, the Speculation and Vacancy Tax was introduced, Property Transfer Tax and annual property taxes were increased for values above $3M. As well, federally the mortgage stress test was introduced. Attempts to deflate the housing market were in the sights of government. But you can’t keep prices down in an area that lacks supply and is extremely attractive to so many and by early 2020 real estate values were on the rise. This is what the real estate market does, and it will do it again and again.

What’s happening with housing inventory in Greater Vancouver? We continue to see active listings on the rise: albeit not as much as many would think. After an all-time low of 5,000 active listings to start the year in Greater Vancouver, moving to 9,770 at mid-May, we now have 10,780 active listings. This in comparison to last year, when there were 11,659 active listings in mid-June. While an increase overall so far this year, the rate of increase is slowing which could point to the effects of current market trends of not only buyers, but sellers considering a wait and see approach. Perceived instability can put a pause in consumers’ plans, and while everyone tries to predict where the market is going, some will adopt this wait and see approach. As was said last month, the rate of growth in active listings will likely have peaked in April, up 15% from the month before, to a 13% in May. Right now, active listings are up 10% month over month. A trend likely to continue or possibly drop off as sellers focus on the end of school and summer travel instead of selling their home. 

The sales to listings ratio of 42% is at a similar level of May, which was 43% at mid-month. With the level of sales activity being less, it is easy to say we are getting closer to balance in the market overall, but areas throughout Metro Vancouver are behaving differently. Burnaby North is still seeing multiple offers for detached homes above $2M, and some apartments are continuing to get multiple offers – sometimes not in the first week but in the second or third. Caution is certainly on the mind of many, but supply and the lack thereof continue to be a significant factor in the market. 

At mid-month in Greater Vancouver there have been 2,958 new listings, 8% below the mid-month pace in May which was 3,210 at that point. There continues to be fluctuation week by week, but the trend is a decrease. In fact, this is the lowest number of new listings at mid-June since 2019. There have been 1,252 home sales so far in June in Greater Vancouver at mid-month which will produce less home sales in June compared to May where we saw 1,381 sales at mid-month. In June 2021 at mid-month there were 2,028 sales. June will likely finish with 2,500 home sales, which would be about 25% below the 10-year average. Richmond is showing resilience with more sales at mid-month in June compared to May, while New West is hovering around the same as last month. North Vancouver is having a very sluggish start to the month in terms of sales levels, perhaps preparing for the typical summer lull. Much like 2018 and 2019 when uncertainty was on the minds of many, sales activity slowed but so did the number of listings that came on market. So again, we must keep in mind that sales activity and prices do not always move in the same way. 


Here’s a summary of the numbers:


Greater Vancouver 

1,252 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to:
1,381 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
1,797 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
2,028 sold at mid-month in June 2021
1,064 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
1,052 sold at mid-month in May 2019

2,958 new listings so far in June compared to:
3,210 at mid-month in May 2022
3,202 at mid-month in April 2022
3,405 at mid-month in June 2021
3,043 at mid-month in June 2020
2,651 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 10,780 compared to 11,659 at mid-month in June 2021, and 9,770 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 42% compared to 60% at mid-month in June 2021 and 43% at mid-month in May 2022.

Vancouver West 

211 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
271 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
334 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
341 sold at mid-month in June 2021
167 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
190 sold at mid-month in May 2019

599 new listings so far in June compared to:
619 at mid-month in May 2022
639 at mid-month in April 2022
732 at mid-month in June 2021
637 at mid-month in June 2020
498 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 2,543 compared to 2,728 at mid-month in June 2021, and 2,386 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 35% compared to 47% at mid-month in June 2021 and 43% at mid-month in May 2022.

Vancouver East

146 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
149 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
186 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
227 sold at mid-month in June 2021
121 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
102 sold at mid-month in May 2019

332 new listings so far in June compared to:
346 at mid-month in May 2022
331 at mid-month in April 2022
406 at mid-month in June 2021
349 at mid-month in June 2020
254 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 1,203 compared to 1,377 at mid-month in June 2021, and 1,128 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 44% compared to 56% at mid-month in June 2021 and 43% at mid-month in May 2022.

North Vancouver

89 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
127 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
150 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
173 sold at mid-month in June 2021
106 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
102 sold at mid-month in May 2019

259 new listings so far in June compared to:
241 at mid-month in May 2022
231 at mid-month in April 2022
273 at mid-month in June 2021
279 at mid-month in June 2020
233 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 600 compared to 677 at mid-month in June 2021, and 519 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 34% compared to 63% at mid-month in June 2021 and 53% at mid-month in May 2022.

West Vancouver 

32 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
38 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
25 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
48 sold at mid-month in June 2021
28 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
22 sold at mid-month in May 2019

107 new listings so far in June compared to:
122 at mid-month in May 2022
104 at mid-month in April 2022
109 at mid-month in June 2021
117 at mid-month in June 2020
88 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 583 compared to 616 at mid-month in June 2021, and 533 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 30% compared to 44% at mid-month in June 2021 and 31% at mid-month in May 2022.

Richmond

178 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
153 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
234 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
239 sold at mid-month in June 2021
101 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
144 sold at mid-month in May 2019

344 new listings so far in June compared to:
373 at mid-month in May 2022
433 at mid-month in April 2022
417 at mid-month in June 2021
324 at mid-month in June 2020
354 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 1,401 compared to 1,650 at mid-month in June 2021, and 1,244 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 52% compared to 57% at mid-month in June 2021 and 41% at mid-month in May 2022.

Burnaby East 

15 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to

16 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
19 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
19 sold at mid-month in June 2021
4 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
7 sold at mid-month in May 2019

24 new listings so far in June compared to:
29 at mid-month in May 2022
36 at mid-month in April 2022
35 at mid-month in June 2021
30 at mid-month in June 2020
25 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 83 compared to 125 at mid-month in June 2021, and 74 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 63% compared to 54% at mid-month in June 2021 and 55% at mid-month in May 2022.

Burnaby North 

74 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
95 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
89 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
114 sold at mid-month in June 2021
42 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
43 sold at mid-month in May 2019

140 new listings so far in June compared to:
166 at mid-month in May 2022
180 at mid-month in April 2022
170 at mid-month in June 2021
132 at mid-month in June 2020
133 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 477 compared to 535 at mid-month in June 2021, and 431 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 53% compared to 67% at mid-month in June 2021 and 57% at mid-month in May 2022.

Burnaby South 

73 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
79 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
104 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
115 sold at mid-month in June 2021
33 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
60 sold at mid-month in May 2019

145 new listings so far in June compared to:
141 at mid-month in May 2022
181 at mid-month in April 2022
206 at mid-month in June 2021
140 at mid-month in June 2020
148 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 485 compared to 535 at mid-month in June 2021, and 487 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 50% compared to 56% at mid-month in June 2021 and 56% at mid-month in May 2022.

New Westminster 

55 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
56 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
74 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
73 sold at mid-month in June 2021
47 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
46 sold at mid-month in May 2019

113 new listings so far in June compared to:
135 at mid-month in May 2022
98 at mid-month in April 2022
141 at mid-month in June 2021
129 at mid-month in June 2020
100 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 313 compared to 379 at mid-month in June 2021, and 296 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 49% compared to 56% at mid-month in June 2021 and 41% at mid-month in May 2022.

Coquitlam 

104 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
111 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
148 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
176 sold at mid-month in June 2021
110 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
82 sold at mid-month in May 2019

191 new listings so far in June compared to:
218 at mid-month in May 2022
263 at mid-month in April 2022
259 at mid-month in June 2021
218 at mid-month in June 2020
219 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 638 compared to 759 at mid-month in June 2021, and 609 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 54% compared to 68% at mid-month in June 2021 and 51% at mid-month in May 2022.

Port Moody

27 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
25 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
35 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
55 sold at mid-month in June 2021
33 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
23 sold at mid-month in May 2019

71 new listings so far in June compared to:
61 at mid-month in May 2022
56 at mid-month in April 2022
82 at mid-month in June 2021
81 at mid-month in June 2020
42 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 228 compared to 187 at mid-month in June 2021, and 162 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 38% compared to 67% at mid-month in June 2021 and 41% at mid-month in May 2022.

Port Coquitlam 

42 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
44 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
55 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
74 sold at mid-month in June 2021
39 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
37 sold at mid-month in May 2019

84 new listings so far in June compared to:
99 at mid-month in May 2022
101 at mid-month in April 2022
86 at mid-month in June 2021
82 at mid-month in June 2020
98 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 238 compared to 244 at mid-month in June 2021, and 199 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 50% compared to 86% at mid-month in June 2021 and 44% at mid-month in May 2022.

Ladner 

17 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
14 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
17 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
30 sold at mid-month in June 2021
14 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
15 sold at mid-month in May 2019

29 new listings so far in June compared to:
24 at mid-month in May 2022
26 at mid-month in April 2022
34 at mid-month in June 2021
29 at mid-month in June 2020
34 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 109 compared to 107 at mid-month in June 2021, and 91 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 59% compared to 88% at mid-month in June 2021 and 58% at mid-month in May 2022.

Tsawwassen

24 units sold at mid-month in June 2022, compared to
19 units sold at mid-month in May 2022, 
23 units sold at mid-month in April 2022, 
41 sold at mid-month in June 2021
21 sold at mid-month in June 2020 
20 sold at mid-month in May 2019

41 new listings so far in June compared to:
56 at mid-month in May 2022
41 at mid-month in April 2022
53 at mid-month in June 2021
51 at mid-month in June 2020
42 at mid-month in June 2019

Total active listings are at 166 compared to 182 at mid-month in June 2021, and 157 at mid-month in May 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 59% compared to 77% at mid-month in June 2021 and 34% at mid-month in May 2022.


Download Mid-June Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos


Download Mid-June Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

 

Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

Highlights of the May 2022 report

 

  • Is a buyer’s market looming in Metro Vancouver? 

  • Vancouver detached house sales down 42% year-over-year

  • Fraser Valley sales drop 54% from a year earlier

  • Stress test increased on June 1: could touch near 7%

  • There are more than 16,000 homes now listed for sale in Metro Vancouver (10,400 in Greater Vancouver) 

We are not statistically into a buyer’s market in Metro Vancouver but, for all the right reasons, this is when smart buyers are becoming active.


As of the end of May there were 10,389 homes listed for sale in Greater Vancouver, including more than 6,400 new listing, the most generous supply in months and the answer to the hopes of homebuyers and economists who had been screaming for more inventory. But it’s still not enough. In the Fraser Valley, May listings had more than tripled from December 2021, with 6,183 homes on the market, up 14.2% from a month earlier.

The new supply is welcomed and needed because in the 12 months ending December 31, 2021, B.C.’s total population grew by 100,566 mostly due to international migration. Immigrants accounted for an increase of 67,141 while net interprovincial migration added another 33,656 to B.C.’s population growth. This means that, on average, B.C. is welcoming more than 8,300 newcomers every month – and an estimated 90% of them settle in the Lower Mainland.

Aside from a welcoming climate and natural beauty, migrants are drawn to B.C. by one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada and a projected 2022 economic growth of 4.3%, one of the highest in the country. 

Despite the influx of people, a combination of price fatigue and higher interest rates slowed housing sales across Greater Vancouver in May compared to the frenzied record-setting pace of 2021. With 2,947 transactions, May 2022 sales were 33% below May of 2021 and nearly 10% lower than in April 2022, which in turn had been 34% lower compared to a month earlier.

Fraser Valley sales in May had dropped 54% from a year earlier, to just 1,360 transactions.
This has helped to increase the supply of existing houses and thank goodness because new home starts across Metro Vancouver, which includes Surrey and Langley, were down 22% as of May 1 from a year earlier to only 6,924 units.
 
May benchmark composite home prices, meanwhile, were just 0.4% lower than a month earlier and up nearly 15% from May of 2021, at $1,261,100. The Fraser Valley saw the first month-over-month home price contraction since September 2019. This market calming was expected, even forecasted here two months ago, but it still has caused a degree of panic in some sectors of the housing market. Let’s take a deep breath here. This is not some global economic crisis, such as the 2008 financial meltdown, or the 2016 and 2018 downturns that were coldly engineered by government policy meant to stifle housing demand. 

What we are now seeing is a natural market reaction. The best solution to high prices is high prices, because they eventually stop consumers from buying a product believed to be overpriced. In this case, it is largely the perception of suburban home prices and a sharp increase in lending rates that has halted the most dramatic sales and price increases ever seen in Metro Vancouver. I believe that the current dip in the market is transitory and will perhaps be even shallower than the three corrections we have seen over the past two decades.

And, just as in those cases, those who bought in the dip rode the market to new price and sales highs.

In May of 2008, with Greater Vancouver sales down 34% year-over-year and headlines blaring recession warnings, the benchmark detached house price was $771,250 and a typical condo apartment sold for $389,600. In May 2018, with sales down 35% year-over-year after the introduction of 20% foreign-homebuyer tax, the speculation and vacancy tax, a super property tax on expensive homes and the federal mortgage stress test, the composite benchmark price for residential properties in Greater Vancouver was $1,094,000; the typical detached house sold for $1,608,000. 

This May, the composite benchmark price is $200,000 higher than in 2018 and typical detached house is worth $2,093,000, nearly $500,000 more than four years ago. We are not technically into a buyer’s market, since the sales-to-active listing ratio is 29.2% (it is 18.3% for detached houses) in Greater Vancouver and 22% in the Fraser Valley, but for those with their eyes wide open are seeing the best buyer conditions in at least three years. As Bob Dylan once cautioned, changing times means those who are first will later be last and that was apparent in Metro Vancouver’s May housing market. Frankly put, it is suburban markets which are seeing the biggest contraction in home sales and prices.

Maple Ridge, which was posting the highest sales and price increases a year ago, had the largest month-over-month composite price decline in Greater Vancouver in May, dropping 2% from April and it was the only market where prices are now lower than three months ago. May sales of detached houses in Maple Ridge decreased 48% from a year earlier and total sales are down nearly 15%.

Pitt Meadows’ total sales dropped 47% in May, year-over-year. Price exhaustion is kicking in, especially in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge with average prices up about 34% year-over year. These areas are likely to be more impacted by interest rate increases as buyers try to stretch their budget to get more. But you can only push so far.

And the push back for some buyers, such as young first-time buyers, became rougher on June 1 as the mortgage stress test was increased to 5.25%, or 2% above the five-year fixed mortgage rate, whichever is higher. As we write this, the typical five-year rate at big banks is 4.59%, which translates to a stress test qualifying rate of 6.59%.  This will sideline some homebuyers in the short term, at least.

For all buyers, however, the increased supply of resale listings, flatlining prices and a lack of new housing starts means that right now is the time to be seriously shopping the market and negotiating the best deal possible. Buyers are not yet in the driver’s seat, but the market is steering in that direction.


Here’s a summary of the numbers:


Greater Vancouver: Total housing sales in May were down 10% from April and 33% lower than in May of 2021, at 2947 transactions. The composite benchmark price for all homes was $1,261,1001. This represents a 14.7%c increase over May 2021 and a 0.3% decrease compared to April 2022. This marks the first month-to-month decline in composite home prices since the autumn of 2019. Active Listings were at 10,389 at month end compared to 11,483 at that time last year and 9,176 (up 13%) at the end of April; New Listings in May were up 4% compared to April 2022. The supply of total residential listings is up to 4 month’s (seller’s market conditions) and the sales to listings ratio is 45% compared to 52% in April 2022, and 60% in May 2021.

Vancouver Westside: There is now a healthy 7-month supply of detached houses and 4-month supply of all homes on the Westside, as sales declined. Total May transactions, at 582, were down 27% from year earlier and 5% lower than in April 2022. The composite benchmark home price was down 0.6% from April 2022 and the benchmark detached house price is 1.2% lower at $3,490,000. Condo apartment were the only sector with rising prices month-over-month, up a modest 0.6% to $884,900. Total new Listings in May were down 0.5% compared to April 2022 and down 14% compared to May 2021. The sales-to-listings ratio was 46% compared to 48% in April 2022 and 50% in May 2021 in what remains a weakening seller’s market.

Vancouver East Side: May total sales, at 318, were down 10% from April to the lowest level since January, which is reversal of a normal market. Overall home prices, at $1,249,000, were 0.3% lower, month-over-month, but remain nearly 13% higher than a year earlier. New listings in May were up 4% compared to April 2022 and down 18% compared to May 2021. The supply of total residential listings is up to 4 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions). The sales-to-listings ratio in May was 45% compared to 53% in April 2022 and 56% in May 2021.

North Vancouver: North Vancouver was the outlier performer in May as more properties sold compared to April, with apartment sales up 23% leaving it with just 1 month supply of condos. Total sales in May were 280, up 2% from April 2022, but down 22% compared to May 2021. The benchmark detached house price has been tracking down for 3 months and settled at $2,368,600 in May. Condo prices continue to increase, up a further 1.4% from a month earlier, to $841,600. Total active Listings were at 525 at month end compared to 677 at that time last year and up 6% at the end of April 2022. The sales-to-listings ratio is 58% unchanged from April 2022 and nearly equal to the 60% in May 2021 in what remains very much a seller’s market.

West Vancouver: The most exclusive detached housing market in B.C. is proving itself nearly immune from rising lending rates and higher prices that bedeviled lesser markets in May. Sales of houses were down just 9 units from April but the 46 sales this year were at a median of $3,322,500, $100,000 higher than in April and nearly $200,000 higher compared to May of last year. Total sales in May, at 69, were down 23% from a year earlier. Active listings were 568 at month’s end compared to 611 at that time last year and up 13% from April. New Listings in May were down 9% compared to May 2021. The supply of total listings is up to 8 month’s supply and the sales-to-listings ratio is 28% compared to 30% in April 2022 and 34% in May of last year. Despite the lofty prices, West Vancouver is now seen as a buyer’s market.

Richmond: We were seeing a few price reductions near the end of May as total sales dropped 20% from a month earlier and were down 32% year-over-year, to 341 transactions in the month. The benchmark price for a detached house was nearly 1% lower in May than a month earlier, at $2,178,300.  The benchmark price for a condo apartment, which dominated May sales, was up 0.9% from April 2022 at $739,000. Condo sales are tracking lower, however, and won’t be helped by the hike in the mortgage stress test rate on June 1. Total residential new listings were up up 6% compared to April 2022 but down 3% compared to May 2021. The sales to listings ratio also slipped, down to 42% in May as compared to 56% a month earlier.

Ladner: Ladner saw May housing sales drop 43% compared to a year earlier and 18% from a month earlier, to just 28 units as the sales-to-listing ratio fell to 42%, below even pre-pandemic 2019. Meanwhile, active listings increased 23% from a month earlier to 106 at the end of May. Benchmark home prices have flatlined for three months. The typical detached house sold in May for $1.545,000, down 0.1% from a month earlier. There is about a 4-month’s supply of homes on the market., 

Tsawwassen: Sunny Tsawwassen experienced a 44% sales decline in May from a year earlier, with sales also down 3% from April 2022, at 44 transactions. The composite home price was up a slim 0.7% from a month earlier, at $1,353,600. Active listings were at 165 at month end compared to 182 at that time last year and 130 (up 27%) at the end of April; New Listings in May were up 38% compared to April 2022. May’s sales to listings ratio of 39% compared to 56% in April 2022.

Burnaby East: May total housing sales were down 44% in May compared to May 2021 and, at just 30 transactions, were 25% lower than in April. The composite home price was 0.3% lower than a month earlier, led by 0.7% decline in detached house prices to a benchmark of $1,931,700, the lowest house price in Burnaby. The supply of total residential listings is up to a 3 month’s supply and the sales to listings ratio in May was 47% compared to 58% in April 2022 and 68% in May 2021. 

Burnaby North: Burnaby North was one of only two markets with more sales in May compared to April, driven by the townhouse and apartment market – a testament to the popularity of this part of Greater Vancouver. The benchmark townhouse price continued to ascend, rising 3.1% from April – the largest increase in Greater Vancouver. Typical condo prices rose 0.8%, month-to-month, to $750,800, the lower condo price in Burnaby. Detached house prices, though, dropped 0.4% from April.  This is a strong seller’s market with the sales-to-listing ratio running at 53%, with 175 sales in May and new listings down from both April 2022 and May 2021.


Burnaby South: The rapid appreciation in detached house prices halted in May as benchmark prices dropped almost 1% from a month earlier after rocketing 21.5% over the past year. Still, at a $2,318,000 benchmark, these are Burnaby’s most expensive houses. Total housing sales in May, at 163, were down 12% from April and nearly 30% lower than in May 2021. The supply of total residential listings is steady at 3 month’s supply and sales to listings ratio is a solid 54% in this seller’s market.

New Westminster: The Royal City is one of the suburban markets that was posting impressive sales numbers during the pandemic, but that changed in May. Total sales, at 117, were down 40% from May of 2021 and 13% lower than in April 2022. The overall sales-to-listing ratio dropped to 47% in May, still strong, but well below the 65% in April or the 72% in May of last year. The overall composite benchmark home price was down 0.5% from April to $862,400, the lowest level in Greater Vancouver. This remains a seller’s market, but buyers may soon take the wheel.

Coquitlam: Total housing sales in May were down 39% from a year earlier and 13% from a month earlier. Benchmark prices are down about 1%, month-over-month, across the board to a composite home price of $1,200,600. New Listings in May were down 5% compared to April 2022 and 19% lower than in May 2021. Coquitlam has been one of the stronger markets and buyers are advised to buy the dip. The sales-to-listing ratio is a steady 53% and Coquitlam has a strong upside in all housing sectors.

Port Moody: Port Moody has finally seen an increase in supply, with active listings at 209 as of the end of May, up 48% from a month earlier, with new listings 13% higher than in May 2021. This was partially due to sale slowdown. With 57 transactions, May sales were down 44% from a year earlier. The benchmark composite home price was nearly unchanged from April at $1,225,600, but the sales-to-listing ratio slumped to 34%, down from 55% in April 2022 and the lowest level in at least three years.

Port Coquitlam: Total housing sales in May, at 91, were down 22% from April 2022, and down 45% from May 2021. Active listings were 229 at month’s end compared to 270 at that time last year and up 31% from April 2022. The composite home price dropped month-to-month for the first time since the pre-pandemic, down 1.2% from April at $1,023,900, led by townhouse and detached house prices. The sales-to-listing ratio in May was 43%, down from 62% in April and 66% in May of last year. This market is slowing, and modest price reductions may continue.

Maple Ridge: Total housing sales reversed in May, dropping 38% from a year earlier and down 7% from April to 178 transactions. After posting a 25.3% price increase over the past 12 months, the benchmark composite home price in May dropped 2% in May from April, the biggest month-over-month decline in Greater Vancouver. Still, this remains a seller’s market, with just a 3-month supply of listings and a sales-to-listing ratio of 39%, up from 36% in April. 

Pitt Meadows: With a 28% increase in benchmark prices from a year ago, Pitt Meadows detached houses set the highest price increase this year, but prices slipped 1.2% from a month earlier in May to $1,454,800. Condo apartment price were down 0.5% from April to $649,500, while townhouse values were unchanged at $922,900. Active listings were at 84 at the end of May, compared to 63 at that time last year and 51 at the end of April. The sales-to-listings ratio of 30% compares to 77% in April 2022 and 84% in May 2021 in this cooling market.

Surrey: Housing sales in every sector were down dramatically in May, with detached-house transactions dropping 67.7% from May 2022 and down 25.7% from April. Townhouse sales were 49% lower, year-over-year, and sales of condo apartments dropped 42% from a year earlier and 18.9% from April. However, prices held fairly steady. The average detached house price, at $1,848,699, was down 2.7% from April 2022. Condo prices took the biggest hit, dropping 8,4% from April to $592,180, while the average townhouse price slipped 5.5% to $908,527.


Download May Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos


Download May Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

 

Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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APRIL GREATER VANCOUVER SALES AND LISTING REPORT

May 4th, 2022
Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

 
 
“Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
 

Welcome back to a balanced market.
Don’t be afraid.


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE APRIL REPORT

• Immigration at record high; housing starts down 41% 
• April housing sales down 34% from a year earlier
• Price resistance as detached house tops $2.1 million
• Markets where detached house prices are down from March 2022: 5 
• Markets where detached house sales are down from a year ago: 14


As we noted here last month, the residential super cycle is over in Metro Vancouver. April’s action confirmed that, after two years of blistering sales and price increases, we are back to more balanced conditions.

As befitting a housing market that has defied all traditions since March 2020, the current calming is happening in midst of what, conventionally, is the most active selling season of the year.

The president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which saw April housing sales plunge 45.7% year-over-year and drop 36.6% from a month earlier, summed up what is happening:


“We would typically see a flurry of activity around this time of the year,” Sandra Benz said. “However, that’s not been the case so far. While it’s still too early to say whether this trend will endure, the slowing of sales combined with an increase in active listings is helping to restore a semblance of balance to the market.”


Just as very few predicted the latest super cycle, no one really knows how long the current moderation will last. There are clues to suggest this will not be a temporary lull. It will likely last until rising in-migration levels collide with a consistently low inventory of homes available.  

So far this year, in-migration is near record highs while housing starts have fallen 40% from a year ago.

In the past couple of months, a combination of factors helped to slow Metro housing sales. These include clumsy government threats and actions, an increase in bank lending and mortgage rates and a push back against record-high home prices. While the former affected markets across Canada, the latter – price resistance - was seen locally first in the Fraser Valley and outlier B.C. markets before it surfaced in Greater Vancouver.

In Kelowna, for example, March sales were down 25% after prices soared 30% from a year ago. The Fraser Valley has experienced a near 50% drop in sales once prices had increased by more than a third from a year earlier.

In Maple Ridge, which had been posting the highest year-over-year price increases in Greater Vancouver, sales plunged 37% in April from a year earlier.

Across Greater Vancouver it is no coincidence that April sales of detached houses have fallen faster than any other type of residential property, down 41.9% from a year ago, after the benchmark price leapt 21% year over year to $2,139,200.

On the bellwether West Side of Vancouver, sales of detached houses dropped to just 93 houses in April – down from 124 a month earlier and 139 in April 2021 – after the median price increased $258,000 from March 2022 to a record high of $3,768,000. 

Since March, government measures to cool demand are mostly threats, but they have had an impact. The City of Vancouver plans to increase its empty home tax to 5% from 3%; the province plans to bring in a homebuyer “cooling-off” period to fix a problem that no longer exists; and the feds plan to ban foreign home buyers for two years, just as it is attempting to attract a record number of new immigrants.

None of these measures are needed and all are counterproductive, but they have helped to scare some buyers and builders out of the market.  

Since investor are very active in the new condominium sector, government action and plans to tax pre-sales and speculation will have a direct detrimental impact on multi-family development. 

Eventually, however, the fact that the housing supply is not close to keeping pace with population growth, largely due to immigration, will kick off another super cycle in Metro Vancouver housing sales and prices. This may not take long. 

In the first quarter of 2022, total housing starts in Metro Vancouver had fallen to 4,308 units, down a shocking 41% from the same period last year. However, in the first quarter of 2022, B.C. also welcomed a net increase of 14,885 persons, including 12,606 immigrants. In 2021 B.C. net international migration accounted for an increase of 67,141 while net interprovincial migration added another 33,656. Most of these 100,00 plus newcomers settled into Metro Vancouver, where only 26,013 homes were built last year, including just 6,600 rentals.
 
Townhouses: The effect of low supply and high demand is and will be felt acutely this year in the townhouse sector.

Townhouses are very popular but just 481 have started construction this year across Mero Vancouver, down from 773 at the same time in 2021. Only 25 new townhouse units have been started this year in the entire City of Vancouver. 

The benchmark price of a townhouse in Greater Vancouver is now $1,150,500, up 25% from April 2021 and nearly 12% higher than in February 2022. The low supply and high prices combined to drive townhouse sales down 40% in April compared to the same month last year. Without a dramatic supply increase, which seems unlikely, townhouse prices will keep climbing.
 

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

 
Greater Vancouver: Total housing sales in April, at 3,281, were down 26% from March and 35% lower than in April 2021.  But they were 193% higher than in April 2020, as the pandemic became a reality, and 77% higher than in April of 2019, so this April was still a strong month for sales. Active Listings were at 9,176 in April, compared to 10,749 at that time last year and 7,970 (up 15%) at the end of March 2022. If we take out the anomaly of 2021 and 2020, the number of new listings in April are only 2% above the 10-year average, as normal as normal can be.

This is still a seller’s market with an overall sales-to-listing ratio of 52% and just a 3-month supply of total inventory. and the composite benchmark price hitting a fresh high of $1,374,500. This represents an 18.9% price increase over April 2021 and a 1% increase compared to March 2022. 
 
Fraser Valley: The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,637 sales in April, a decrease of 45.7% compared to April 2021 and a 36.6% decrease compared to March 2022. The Valley saw 3,622 new listings, down 27.8% compared to April 2021, and a decrease of nearly 21% compared to March 2022. The total month-end active inventory in April, however, was 5,387, 14.6 per cent higher than in March and up 38.3% from April 2021. Benchmark prices are up an average of 1 per cent from March 2022 but about 38% higher than a year earlier, with detached houses selling in April at $1,713,000; townhomes at $902,500 and condominium apartments at $649,500, all record highs. With Fraser Valley sales falling for the second straight month, we expect to see price corrections coming.

Vancouver Westside: The Westside now has a healthy 7-month supply of detached houses, reflecting lower sales in the past few months, at least partially due to sticker shock. The April detached house benchmark was $3,643,100, which, despite the sales slowdown, is 2%, or $72,800, higher than in March 2022. Houses accounted for only 93 of the 619 transactions in April, which was dominated by 465 condo apartment sales that sold at a median of $887,500.  Townhouse sales accounted for 60 transactions from 148 listings, at a median price of $1,614,950.  Total active listings were at 2,313 at month end compared to 2,434 at that time last year and 2,065 (up 12%) at the end of March. New Listings in April were down 6% compared to March 2022.

Vancouver East Side: As the median price of an East Side detached house crested over $2 million for the second month, detached sales plunged 50% from a year earlier and dropped 36% from March 2022, to just 110 transactions. Sales of condominium apartments were also lower, at 178 units, as the median condo price held steady from a month earlier at $680,000.  The sales-to-listing ratio for townhouses dipped to 41%, the lowest level this year, even as the median price of the 65 sales dipped to $1,350,000, down from a four-month average of $1.4 million. Active listings were at 1,038 at month end compared to 1,244 at that time last year and 946 (up 10%) at the end of March; New Listings in April were down 8% compared to March 2022 and the supply of total residential listings is up to 3 months in what is cooling seller’s market.

North Vancouver: Despite pressure from senior levels of government to bypass public hearings on housing projects that already fit the official community plan, North Vancouver City recently pushed two proposals with a total of 118 strata units to such hearings. So far this year just 390 multi-family units have started in the city and most of these were rentals. Sales in April, at 275, were down 42% from a year earlier and 20% lower than in March 2022 Active Listings were at 497 at month end compared to 624 at that time last year. New Listings in April were down 3% compared to March 2022, down 30% compared to April 2021, with the overall sales to listing ratio at 58%. The composite home benchmark in North Vancouver is $1,438,000 and the typical detached house sold in April at $2,231,000, both virtually unchanged from March.

West Vancouver: Total housing sales in April, at 72, were down 18% from March and 38% lower than in April 2021 in a fairly balanced market. West Vancouver is primarily about detached houses, which accounted for 54 of the April sales. The benchmark detached house price is $3,380,200, which was up 2% from a month earlier. Active listings were at 502 at April’s end, compared to 554 at that time last year and 423 (up 19%) at the end of March 2022. New listings were up 32% compared to March but down 16% compared to April 2021. Total supply of residential listings is up to 7 months, with a relatively modest sales-to-listings ratio of 30%. 

Richmond: Richmond has seen new townhouse active listings double since January, with detached houses now at 5-months supply while townhouses remain at 2-months supply. If April sales are an indication, supply will remain healthy. Total sales, at 557, were down 24% from March 2022 and 36% lower than in April 2021, while active listings were up 13% from March 2022 to 1,197. The sales-to-listing ratio is holding at 56%, down from 63% in March but the same as in April 2021. Condo apartments led the April market, accounting for 223 of the 426 transactions. The typical condo now sells for a median of $675,900, compared to $1,960,000 for a detached house and $1,165,000 for a Richmond townhouse.

Ladner: Outlier markets are seeing the largest sales slump and Ladner was no exception as April transactions dropped 39% from March 2022 to just 34. There could be price resistance, as the benchmark detached house price fell 0.6% from March to $1,517,800, the first month-over-month decline in more than two years. Condo apartment prices rallied, however, increasing 6.2% month-over-month to $692,600, reflective of the new condo construction in 2021. Total active listings were 86 at month end in April compared to 117 at that time last year and 79 at the end of March. The total supply of residential listings is up to 3 month’s supply, with a sales-to-listings ratio at 61% compared to 63% in March 2022 and 80% in April 2021.

Tsawwassen: Total housing sales in April at 46 had fallen 41% compared to a month earlier and down 44% from April of last year. The benchmark detached house price is $1,688,800, 25.6% higher than a year ago but up just 0.9% from March 2022. Active Listings were at 130 at month end compared to 188 at that time last year and 105 (up 24%) at the end of March. The supply of total residential listings is up to 3 months. April’s sales-to-listings ratio of 56% compares to 82% in March 2022 and 66% in April 2021. This market is cooling but sellers still hold the advantage.

Burnaby North: This market posted one of the largest sale declines in April, with total transactions down 46% from a month earlier and 48% below the pace in April of 2021.  Just 164 homes sold in April, while active listings were up 33% from March at 419. The detached house sector posted the second-lowest sales this year, at 38, which may reflect price resistance as a house is now selling for an average of $2,048,300. But the condo market is also waning with the 111 April sales and average price, at $754,034, both at the lowest level since January. The total sales to listing ratio is running at 47%, well below the 72% in March and the 68% a year ago.

Burnaby South: Total units sold in April were 186 – down from 213 (-13%) in March 2022, and down 31% compared to April 2021. The average price of the 36 detached houses sold in April w    as $2,304,966, down marginally from a month earlier. Townhouse average prices were up slightly from March, at $1,245,205 based on 60 sales in April. Condo apartment sales, at 116, were down from 142 a month earlier but the average price hit a new high of $808,030. The supply of total residential listings is now at 3 month’s supply, and the April sales-to-listings ratio was 55%, compared to 59% in March 2022. 

Burnaby East: Just 40 homes sold in April, down 29% from March 2022 and 47% below April of 2021, but active listings were also lower, down to just 67 compared to 112 in April of last year. New listings were down 38% year-over-year but up 3% from March. Detached house sales dropped to 11 transactions, the lowest since January 2022, at an average price hit $2,126,808. The supply of total residential listings is up to 2 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) and April’s sales- to-listings ratio was 58% compared to 84% in March 2022 and 68% in April 2021.

New Westminster: The Royal City saw housing sales drop to 134 in April, down 34% from a month earlier and 23% below sales in April 2021. Each sector was down, including the condo apartment market, which posted 102 sales at a median price of $630,000. There were 24 detached housing sales, at a median of $1,701,500 and half of the 14 townhouses listed sold at just under $1 million each. Total new listings in April were down 21% compared to March 2022 and down 31% compared to April 2021. With the sales-to-listing ratio at 65%, there is only about a 2-month supply of homes on the market.

Coquitlam: April housing sales, at 279, were down 30% compared to March and 11% lower than in April 2021, but Coquitlam’s housing future appears solid, with several large new developments coming. These include the 91.5-acre Fraser Mills waterfront site where 5,100 strata homes and 400 rentals are planned, and new strata homes at Burke Mountain. New listings in April were down 20% compared to March 2022 and down 21% compared to April 2021. The benchmark price for a detached house reached $1,847,800, up 25% from a year earlier but virtually unchanged from March. Condo apartments are selling for $712,500 and townhouses are benchmarked at just over $1 million.

Port Moody: The giant Coronation Park development was reluctantly approved in April, but the city added a costly last-minute demand that 15% of the homes – about 400 units – be below-market rentals, so the project may be delayed again after years of debate. Meanwhile, April housing sales plunged 39% from March and were nearly 50% lower than in April 2021. The detached house price is now benchmarked at $2,314,900, the highest in the Tri-Cities. There is just a 2-month supply of total listings available in this seller’s market.

Port Coquitlam: Total units sold in April were 117 – down from 141 (-17%) in March 2022, and down from 167 (-30%) in April 202. New Listings in April were down 9% compared to March 2022 and 27% below that of April 2021. Detached house prices have flatlined at $1,614,600, unchanged from March 2022. The supply of total residential listings is steady at 1 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) and April’s sales-to-listings ratio of 61% compares to 67% in March 2022 and 64% in April 2021.

Pitt Meadows: The Pitt Meadows market has calmed down but remains a seller’s advantage with just a 1-month supply of homes on the market and sales-to-listing ratio at a strong 77%.  April sales were 45 units, down 18% from March and just 6% below April 2021, which is a relatively strong performance. The benchmark price of a detached house dipped 1.5% from March, rare in Metro Vancouver, to $1,540,000. Total active listings were 51 at month’s end compared to 63 at that time last year and 53 at the end of March.

Maple Ridge: What was one of the hottest markets in 2021 has cooled this year, with April sales, at 166 homes, down 37% from March of this year and a 52% plunge from April 2021. The benchmark detached house price, however, increased a further 2.2% month-over-month to $1,447,600 in April, which is 31% above the price a year earlier. Maple Ridge townhouse buyers saw the benchmark price fall 1.5% from March to $889,200, while condo apartments were unchanged at $546,600. The supply of total residential listings is up to 3 month’s supply as April’s sales-to-listings ratio dipped to 36% compared to 60% in March 2022.

Surrey: Price resistance has surfaced in Surrey.  April detached house sales plunged 56.6% year-over-year and nearly 40% from March 2022, to 261, and the average house price dropped 3.9% from March to $1,898,677. This is the first such decline in years. Townhouse sales were down 56% from a year ago, to 225, and the average price was down 3.1% from March of 2022. April condo apartment sales also declined, dropping 28% from a month earlier and 18% from a year earlier, though the average condo price was up 1.8% from March 2022 at $581,879.


Download April Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos


Download April Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

 

Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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