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Current Sales and Listings Greater Vancouver

Posted by gordan on June 7, 2019
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“If you want to change, expand your mind. Old ways don’t open new doors.” Kristen Butler

 Is this a one hit wonder or the start of a new album for Metro Vancouver real estate? Sales in May were the highest since May 2018 and second highest since November 2017. After 9 straight months with home sales below 2,000 units, there were 2,669 homes sold in Greater Vancouver in May. This was the longest period of monthly sales being below 2,000 since a period of 16 months from November 1997 to February 1999. With the spring market typically being the busy time of year for buyers and sellers, it seems engagement through the end of April and into May was much higher than we’ve seen over the last month. And with all that has been thrown at the market, it shouldn’t be surprising that it took time for the market and its participants to digest. And with less listings coming on the market in May than is typical, total inventory level growth has slowed, resulting in some multiple offers in the market – albeit with a more cautious tone to them. It would seem pent up demand in the market is coming out from the stalemate we’ve seen over the last year. The question is, will this continue. Certainly, with the economy still performing well, population growing and the continued love affair with our region, there is little to keep the market activity from stabilizing. Not to be confused with price growth, which will take longer to recover, but make no mistake it will.

The 2,669 homes sold in Greater Vancouver in May were up from 1,850 (44%) from April this year. The largest month over month increase since March 2017. This was compared with 2,890 sales (down 8%) in May last year and 4,425 sales in May 2017, the largest year over year increase since February 2018. And this was 23 per cent below the 10-year average for May unit sales in Greater Vancouver. The detached house market was stronger in May than we’ve seen in the last year – with areas like Richmond, North Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Moody (up 43 per cent to May 2018), showing better performance year over year compared to the condo and townhouse markets.

On the other side of the equation, there were 6,031 new listings in May in Greater Vancouver, down from 6,558 in May last year and up from 5900 in April 2019. The number of new listings in May were 5 per cent below the 10-year average for May. There are currently 15,452 Active Listings on the market in Greater Vancouver – up from 11,989 at the end of May last year. A combination of lower new listings and higher home sales volumes have slowed down the rate of growth of Active Listings, not typical during a slow real estate market. In the period of 1997 to 1999, Active Listings were consistently at levels of 20,000 – at a time when there were far less homes available for sale in the Greater Vancouver market. Similarly, in the two slowest markets since in 2008 and 2012 to the beginning of 2014, Active Listings were near 20,000 during that period. While this has been one of the slower real estate markets we’ve seen in 20 years, the lack of homes being listed indicates the strength of the market and that prices may not fall much further. And certainly, if buyers engage as they have done this month, that will keep prices consistent. Of course, not all segments of the market operate the same, with the higher end of the market still struggling to recover and further price declines possible.

“High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal government’s B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today,” Ashley Smith, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president said. “Whether you’re a buyer looking to make an offer or a seller looking to list your home, getting your pricing right is the key in today’s market.”

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,517 sales of all property types on its MLS® in May, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to sales in April 2019, and a 13.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,758 sales in May of last year. Of the 1,517 total sales, 41.2 per cent, up from 39.4 per cent in April; attached homes were 58.8 per cent of total sales in May compared to 60.6 per cent in April. “Buyers are recognizing that in the last three months, home prices have stopped declining and that in order to take advantage of the improvement in prices over the past year, now is a great time to consider making the purchase they held off on in the previous months,” Darin Germyn, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, said “We’re seeing buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines, act, because of better price opportunities and more selection. It’s been four years since buyers had this much choice in the Fraser Valley.”

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

 Greater Vancouver: Total Units Sold in May 2019 was 2,669 – up from 1,850 (44%) in April 2019, down from 2,890 (8%) in May 2018, down from 4,425 (40%) in May 2017; Active Listings are at 15,452 compared to 11,980 at this time last year (up 29%); New Listings in May 2019 were up 2% compared to April 2019; were down 8% compared to May 2018 and down 3% compared to May 2017; Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is down to 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced to Buyer’s Market) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 44% compared to 31% in April 2019 and 44% in May 2018.

Vancouver Westside Residential: Total Units Sold in May 2019 was 460 – up from 342 (35%) in April 2019, down from 504 (9%) in May 2018, down from 796 (42%) in May 2017; Active Listings are at 2,778 compared to 2,276 at this time last year (up 22%); New Listings in May 2019 were down 10% compared to April 2019; were down 17% compared to May 2018 and down 2% compared to May 2017; Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is down to 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced to Buyer’s Market) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 44% compared to 29% in April 2019 and 40% in May 2018.

Vancouver Eastside Residential: Total Units Sold in May 2019 was 328 – up from 215 (53%) in April 2019, down from 364 (10%) in May 2018, down from 467 (30%) in May 2017; Active Listings are at 1,403 compared to 1,323 at this time last year (up 6%); New Listings in May 2019 were up 3% compared to April 2019; were down 16% compared to May 2018 and down 9% compared to May 2017; Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is down to 4 Month’s Supply (Balanced Market) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 54% compared to 36% in April 2019 and 50% in May 2018.

North Vancouver Residential Total Units Sold in May 2019 was 257 – up from 149 (72%) in April 2019, up from 238 (8%) in May 2018, down from 325 (21%) in May 2017; Active Listings are at 1,035 compared to 764 at this time last year (up 35%); New Listings in May 2019 were the same as April 2019; were down 3% compared to May 2018 and up 2% compared to May 2017; Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is down to 4 Month’s Supply (Balanced Market) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 50% compared to 29% in April 2019 and 45% in May 2018.

West Vancouver Houses: Total Units Sold in May 2019 was 71 – up from 48 (48%) in April 2019, up from 63 (13%) in May 2018, down from 100 (29%) in May 2017; Active Listings are at 740 compared to 744 at this time last year (down 1%); New Listings in May 2019 were down 6% compared to April 2019; were down 21% compared to May 2018 and down 4% compared to May 2017; Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is down to 10 Month’s Supply (Buyer’s Market) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 30% compared to 19% in April 2019 and 21% in May 2018.

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