Metro Vancouver Embraces Increased Inventory and Price Reductions

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The buzz in Metro Vancouver’s real estate scene this past month has been the gradual easing of housing prices. As autumn paints the city with vibrant hues, the market dynamics are transforming, thanks to a small boost in regional inventory and the natural seasonal decline.

Inventory Levels On the Rise

The Director of Economics and Data Analytics at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), Andrew Lis, shed light on the recent trends. He noted that some homeowners seemed hesitant to list their properties this year, primarily due to mortgage rates reaching their highest point in over a decade. This hesitation translated into a shortage of property listings earlier in the year, keeping inventory levels at record lows, pushing prices higher throughout the spring and summer months.

Surge in Home Sales

However, there’s a glimmer of hope for prospective homebuyers. According to the REBGV, home sales saw a healthy increase, rising by over 13 percent compared to last year, even though it remains more than 26 percent below the 10-year seasonal average.

New Listings Bolster the Market

In September, the real estate market witnessed a surge in new and total listings. The 5,446 MLS listings last month marked a significant increase of over 28 percent compared to September 2022. This figure is also 5.2 percent higher than the 10-year seasonal average. Total listings showed a similar positive trend, with a growth of over 9 percent in the same period, despite remaining 6.2 percent below the 10-year seasonal average.

Balance Returns to the Market

These additional listings have started to shift the market towards a more balanced state. When analyzing the sales-to-active listings ratio across property types, detached homes stood at 12.6 percent, townhomes at 21.6 percent, and apartments at 21.3 percent, resulting in an overall ratio of 17.7 percent.

Andrew Lis believes that September’s data indicates a renewed interest among sellers to enter the market, aligning new listing activity with long-term historical averages. This uptick in new listings has allowed inventory levels to recover modestly, gradually mitigating the low levels seen earlier this year. Paired with the typical seasonal slowdown in fall, the result is a more balanced market environment.

Prices Soften Across Categories

The relief for buyers doesn’t end with increased inventory. The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver now stands at $1,203,300, showing a 4.4 percent increase from September 2022 but a 0.4 percent decrease from August of this year.

Detached homes, in particular, have witnessed interesting dynamics. Sales for this category last month exceeded 570, marking a 7.5 percent increase from the same period in 2022. The detached home benchmark price currently stands at $2,017,100, reflecting a 5.8 percent surge from September 2022 and a marginal 0.1 percent dip compared to August 2023’s benchmark.

Apartments have also seen a significant uptick, with 988 sales last month, an increase of over 11 percent compared to September 2022. The benchmark price for apartments now stands at $768,500, marking a 5.8 percent increase from September 2022 and a 0.2 percent decrease compared to August 2023’s benchmark.

The attached homes complete this promising picture, with 352 sales in September, marking a growth of more than 28 percent compared to the same period last year. The attached home benchmark price is $1,098,400, showcasing a 5.3 percent increase from September 2022 and a 0.5 percent dip compared to the August 2023 benchmark.

In a real estate landscape often dominated by soaring prices and limited inventory, this recent shift in Metro Vancouver’s market dynamics offers a glimmer of hope for both buyers and sellers. As autumn unfolds its colorful tapestry, the city’s housing market appears to be settling into a more balanced and sustainable equilibrium. Time will tell whether this trend continues or takes new directions, but for now, the winds of change seem to be blowing in Metro Vancouver’s real estate world.

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