Housing Supply in Vancouver Reaches Five Year High | Vancouver Townhouse

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Housing Supply in Vancouver Reaches Five Year High

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The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that residential home sales recorded in May 2018 were up from April but still declined from 2,833 to 2,638, year-over-year. Buyer demand is well below historical averages, but at least one local real estate brokerage says the market is primed for a comeback, citing data the suggests that while the housing inventory is higher than it has been—it is still historically low.

At 22.9 per cent below the 10-year average, last month’s sales were the lowest since 2000. The problem of high home prices has been exacerbated by higher mortgage rates and the B20 stress test, both government initiatives to control the housing market and make sure Canadian consumers aren’t overextending themselves.

In spite of all that, Dexter Realty said the market is “primed for a comeback,” citing that despite the higher inventory, historically levels are still low compared to the numbers that spurred the market dips seen in 1997-1999, 2008-2009, and 2012-2013.

Additionally, sales in May were up 44.2% compared to April. For homeowners, it’s a good sign that consumer confidence in the market may be improving.

Historically when surplus listings caused prices to dip, real estate listings were well over or close to 20,000 active listings. But in current conditions, Vancouver still hasn’t crossed 15,000 listings. Moreover, interest in always highest in spring, meaning the supply is likely to deplete.

Overall, it seems people have long term conference in Vancouver’s housing market. Many homeowners are willing to site on their properties if prices aren’t met, which works to stabilize the market. While prices are noticeably volatile, and there are some great finds for homebuyers, these opportunities are gradually diminishing.

The total number of homes currently listed on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 14,685, a 30 per cent increase compared to May 2018 (11,292) and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to April 2019 (14,357).

Getting the pricing right is key to success for both buyers and sellers in this market. It’s essential to work with a Vancouver realtor who understands neighbourhood trends, especially when buyers are targeting specific lifestyles and properties.

Generally, downward pressure on home prices only occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, but the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2019 is 18 per cent on average. By property type, the ratio is 14.2 per cent for detached homes, 20 per cent for townhomes, and 21.2 per cent for condos—another indication that the market seems to be stabilizing.


As an experienced townhouse realtor in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin has been tracking and studying townhouse sales and neighbourhood trends for over 15 years. Her one-on-one approach to buying and selling emphasizes a customer-first attitude and allows her to deliver results and value. Call (604) 779-1500 to set up a complimentary consultation with Ariane today.

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