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housing market insights

Blog by June Conway | January 10th, 2020

The Metro Vancouver housing market experienced below average home sale activity in 2019.  As well, moderate price declines.  Here is a closer look!

Realtors helped their client’s sell 25,351on MLS last year.  This is a +3% increase from 2018 and -20% below the 10 year average.  However, the total number of sales only tells part of last years story.  Our market did not follow typical seasonal patterns in 2019.  Homebuyer demand was quieter in the normally busy Spring season and it picked up in the second half of the year.

On the supply side there were 51,918 listed for sale last year.  This was -7.6% below our 10 year average.

Home prices in our market are driven by supply and demand.  We measure this activity by comparing the inventory of homes for sale by the number of sales in a month.  We call this the Sales-To-Active Listings Ratio.  The year ended with a ratio of 23% for all residential.  As you can see below, if this ratio sustained over time we’ll will enter sellers’ market territory which is marked by upward pressure on home prices.  By housing type we see home buyer demand more concentrated today in the townhome and condo markets than the detached home market.

In terms of home values prices dipped between 2 and 4 % across the region last year depending on property type.  The benchmark price for all home types in Metro Vancouver is $1,001,000.  This is down -3.1% over last year.  Prices however, have been inching up over the last three months.

So why were sales so concentrated at the end of the year which is usually a quieter time for the real estate market?

In the first quarter of the year many prospective buyers were waiting to see how prices would react to the mortgage stress test, new taxes and other policy changes.  Confidence started to return in the summer.  Lower home prices, advantageous interest rates and steady economic factors increased home buyer confidence.  This lead to above average sales activity at the end of the year.

We will have to wait and see what the year ahead has in store for our local housing market.

Putting in motion a move?  Buying?  Selling?

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(Source of text: REBGV Decenber 2019 Market Insights)