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Sales and Listing Report for April 2023

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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Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report for Mid-April 2023

April is showing improvements from March as we see sales and listings on a slow but steady increase, although dramatic changes in market activity aren’t likely month over month as we settle into a balanced market that has dressed up as a seller’s market. With active listing counts flirting with decreases in some areas and product types and slight increases in others, and as buyer activity increases, competition over those too few listings have increased thus shifting the advantage back into sellers’ hands in some cases.

At the mid-point of April, there have been 1,227 sales in Greater Vancouver, more than the 1,184 that sold at the mid-point of March, and much more than the 878 that had sold at the mid-point of February. Even looking at 2019 as we have, there were only 856 sales at the mid-point of April in that year. The comparison to that year and any year for that matter seems to be less meaningful. This is a market onto its own. With Easter having taken some steam out of the market, buyers are more active this month than last and with the last half of the month not impacted by spring break as March was, we can expect sales to accelerate through the remainder of April. We’re already seeing this as the daily sales reported by the Greater Vancouver’s Board are higher in the first two weeks of April compared to March. And with the Bank of Canada holding their rate last week, buyers have some certainty in interest rates for the foreseeable future.

At mid-month in Greater Vancouver there have been 2,182 new listings so far, just slightly above the 2,154 new listings at the mid-point of March and not much more than the 1,846 new listings at the mid-point in February. This is of course still far below the 3,202 new listings at the midpoint of April 2022 or 4,078 new listings at the mid-point of April 2021. And looking at the comparison to 2019, it’s even much lower than the 2,819 new listings at the mid-point of April in that year. Listing inventory continues to be a challenge for buyers to find in our market.

Some interesting side notes so far this month. Vancouver’s West Side thus far has seen less new listings at mid-month compared to March, while the East Side has seen greater new listings and less sales, creating more growth in active listings. North Vancouver perhaps waiting to get through spring break and Easter has seen less sales and new listings thus far compared to the mid-point of March. In Richmond while sales are slower in April compared to March so far, it is almost double the number of mid-April 2019. Townhouses are the strongest part of that market with active listing counts dropping. Burnaby East has seen almost as many sales so far as all of March, and Burnaby South has also seen a significant jump, showing three times the number of sales as April 2019 at mid-month. Port Moody has seen more sales than new listings so far in April, with a 110% absorption rate. Those new developments can’t happen quick enough there, especially townhouses where there have only been 3 new listings so far to go with 17 sales which has dropped active listings down to 13 there. Moving further east, inventory in Maple Ridge is dropping, especially for townhouses where active listings are down 40% year-over-year. Maybe this missing middle theme has some truth to it.

The low number of active listings continues to be as consistent and the cold, wet weather in Metro Vancouver. With an absorption rate of 56%, which is just higher than we saw in March at 55% mid-month, more new listings are selling than the previous month. And it’s right at where absorption was last April when we saw 56% of listings purchased that month mid-way through. With 8,778 active listings in Greater Vancouver, it’s just above the 8,515 that were available at this time last year when the market was beginning its turn from super heated to super conservative. And while its higher than the 8,395 at mid-month in March, it was believed we would start to see quicker growth in active listings as the spring market moved into full bloom. Here’s hoping spring truly comes to Metro Vancouver in the real estate market as well as with our weather.

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

Greater Vancouver

1,227 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

1,184 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
878 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
1,797 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
2,402 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
564 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
856 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

2,182 new listings so far in April compared to

2,154 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
1,846 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
3,202 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
4,078 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
1,105 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
2,819 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 8,778 compared to 8,515 at mid-month in April 2022, and 8,395 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 56% compared to 56% at mid-month in April 2022 and 55% at mid-month in March 2023.

Vancouver West 

215 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

211 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
143 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
334 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
402 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
96 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
154 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

420 new listings so far in April compared to

467 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
354 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
639 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
767 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
196 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
568 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 1,988 compared to 2,155 at mid-month in April 2022, and 1,949 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 51% compared to 52% at mid-month in April 2022 and 45% at mid-month in March 2023.

Vancouver East

111 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

127 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
95 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
186 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
263 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
58 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
94 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

251 new listings so far in April compared to

223 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
189 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
331 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
537 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
124 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
301 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 940 compared to 1,174 at mid-month in April 2022, and 903 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 44% compared to 56% at mid-month in April 2022 and 57% at mid-month in March 2023.

North Vancouver

90 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

108 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
68 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
150 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
232 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
50 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
71 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

153 new listings so far in April compared to

180 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
123 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
231 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
338 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
89 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
273 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 496 compared to 455 at mid-month in April 2022, and 455 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 59% compared to 65% at mid-month in April 2022 and 60% at mid-month in March 2023.

West Vancouver 

34 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

29 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
22 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
25 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
54 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
13 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
27 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

94 new listings so far in April compared to

77 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
84 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
104 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
147 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
43 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
119 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 475 compared to 457 at mid-month in April 2022, and 447 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 36% compared to 24% at mid-month in April 2022 and 38% at mid-month in March 2023.

Richmond

153 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

163 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
102 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
234 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
318 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
78 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
80 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

261 new listings so far in April compared to

264 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
255 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
433 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
513 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
109 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
367 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 1,080 compared to 1,149 at mid-month in April 2022, and 1,057 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 59% compared to 54% at mid-month in April 2022 and 62% at mid-month in March 2023.

Burnaby East 

19 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

10 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
7 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
19 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
26 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
7 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
10 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

18 new listings so far in April compared to

22 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
12 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
39 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
53 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
16 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
25 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 77 compared to 70 at mid-month in April 2022, and 77 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 106% compared to 49% at mid-month in April 2022 and 45% at mid-month in March 2023.

Burnaby North 

77 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

80 units sold at mid-month in March 2023 
65 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
89 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
146 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
18 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
37 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

129 new listings so far in April compared to

110 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
112 new listings at mid-month in February 2023 
180 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
255 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
56 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
139 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 412 compared to 359 at mid-month in April 2022, and 380 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 60% compared to 49% at mid-month in April 2022 and 73% at mid-month in March 2023.

Burnaby South 

101 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

60 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
58 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
104 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
126 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
29 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
33 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

125 new listings so far in April compared to
101 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
113 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
181 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
221 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
48 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
141 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 390 compared to 425 at mid-month in April 2022, and 387 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 81% compared to 57% at mid-month in April 2022 and 59% at mid-month in March 2023. 

New Westminster 

54 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

43 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
30 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
74 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
102 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
37 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
56 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

80 new listings so far in April compared to
77 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
62 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
98 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
153 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
45 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
131 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 235 compared to 223 at mid-month in April 2022, and 238 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 68% compared to 76% at mid-month in April 2022 and 56% at mid-month in March 2023.

Coquitlam

90 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

97 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
78 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
148 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
159 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
46 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
77 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

180 new listings so far in April compared to

152 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
129 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
263 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
307 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
93 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
213 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 506 compared to 547 at mid-month in April 2022, and 469 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 50% compared to 56% at mid-month in April 2022 and 64% at mid-month in March 2023. 

Port Moody

54 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

37 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
19 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
35 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
71 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
10 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
25 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

49 new listings so far in April compared to
50 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
49 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
56 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
87 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
28 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
79 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 163 compared to 129 at mid-month in April 2022, and 177 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 110% compared to 63% at mid-month in April 2022 and 74% at mid-month in March 2023.  

Port Coquitlam 

35 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

28 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
20 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
55 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
83 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
22 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
31 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

52 new listings so far in April compared to

57 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
45 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
101 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
232 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
37 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
80 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 159 compared to 168 at mid-month in April 2022, and 150 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 67% compared to 54% at mid-month in April 2022 and 49% at mid-month in March 2023. 

Ladner 

16 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

23 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
16 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
17 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
39 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
6 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
15 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

27 new listings so far in April compared to

20 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
35 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
26 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
46 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
17 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
33 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 102 compared to 83 at mid-month in April 2022, and 86 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 59% compared to 65% at mid-month in April 2022 and 115% at mid-month in March 2023. 

Tsawwassen

17 units sold so far in April 2023 compared to

13 units sold at mid-month in March 2023
15 units sold at mid-month in February 2023
23 units sold at mid-month in April 2022
39 units sold at mid-month in April 2021
14 units sold at mid-month in April 2020
9 units sold at mid-month in April 2019

38 new listings so far in April compared to

38 new listings at mid-month in March 2023
23 new listings at mid-month in February 2023
41 new listings at mid-month in April 2022
62 new listings at mid-month in April 2021
20 new listings at mid-month in April 2020
50 new listings at mid-month in April 2019

Total active listings are at 177 compared to 118 at mid-month in April 2022, and 157 at mid-month in March 2023.
Sales to listings ratio is at 45% compared to 56% at mid-month in April 2022 and 34% at mid-month in March 2023.

Download April Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos
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Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report for March 2023

Highlights of Dexter Realty’s March 2023 Report: 

  • Benchmark prices are 22% higher than three years ago

  • Greater Vancouver sales are up 146% from January 2023

  • Greater Vancouver Benchmark detached-house price rise $60,000+ this year

  • First-time homebuyer incentive starts April 1

  • Five-year fixed mortgages are now the lowest-rate option

  • Fraser Valley home sales soared 72% in a month 

March came in like a tiger and went out like a lion with housing sales doubling over the last two weeks of the month and a total of 2,535 sales up 38% from a month earlier and a startling 146% rebound from the 1,030 transactions in January 2023.

The composite benchmark home price increased by 3% from the end of January.
With the number of listings we have, it is a spring seller’s market with momentum.
In the Fraser Valley, sales in March were 72 percent higher than in February and, at 1,550, total transactions were above the 1,000-unit level for the first time since August of 2022. More surprising is the retreat of active listings, with detached and townhome listings down 20 to 30% year-over-year, even as much as 50% down in some pockets. This has shifted a lot of those markets to 2 to 3 months supply.

Some were surprised at the performance, including most media who are comparing the current market with last year, which is meaningless. The first quarter of 2022 was still in a once-in-a-century pandemic and the Bank of Canada had just started eight straight mortgage rate increases that spooked buyers and sellers alike.

Within the next few months, sales will begin to surpass the same month in 2022 and the headlines and perception of the current sales and price momentum will change.
The Bank of Canada's next interest rate announcement is scheduled for April 12. It’s widely anticipated that the Bank will hold the key overnight rate at 4.5%. Also, after the April break is when lenders tend to come out with their spring mortgage promotions, which should help with the downward pressure on rates.

Fixed-rate mortgage rates are already falling. As of March 30, the lowest rates in Canada were for five-year fixed-rate mortgages at 4.29% for insured mortgages and 4.59% for uninsured home loans, according to a survey by rate.com.

Also, April 1 is the official launch of the new federal Tax-Free-Savings Account for home buyers. It allows a young couple to save up to $80,000 for the down payment on their first home on a tax-free basis. Not a huge incentive but enough to encourage some tenants into ownership. 

The market has changed this spring and you can see and feel it on the street. Buyers who have come back into the Greater Vancouver market already know the score. They are seeing multiple offers on desired properties and benchmark prices that have been rising an average of $15,000 a month so far this year.

Everything is up except listings and even they will not likely stay this low for long as more sellers recognize prices are firming and buyers are back.

March saw 4,317 new listings for residential properties, which was nearly 1,000 more than in either February or January. This was a 35.5% decrease compared to the 6,690 homes listed in March 2022, however, and was 22.3% below the 10-year seasonal average. The overall sales-to-new-listing in March was 57%, which compares to the sales-success ratios during the hot market of 2021. 

The total number of homes listed for sale at the end of March in Greater Vancouver was 8,617, an 8% increase compared to March of last year. Don’t be surprised to see a sudden spike in sellers this spring, since March had the lowest number of new listings for that month since 1995. 

For those who are considering a sale, now is the time to list your property before the rush of new listings begins and competition for buyers increases.

It is resale listings that will deliver the most homes: Metro Vancouver's total non-rental housing starts so far this year are just 700 units higher than in 2022.

Don’t count on the B.C. government's latest ‘Homes for People’ plan to suddenly increase the supply or lead to lower housing prices. The plan, introduced in early April, includes automatic rezoning of every single-family lot in the province to allow up to four housing units. But this has yet to be put into legislation, so at this point, it is just a promise. We’ll have to wait until the fall to see what this may look like and the timing of it being in effect.

The City of Coquitlam has had a similar plan in place for years, allowing fourplexes, smaller lots and laneway houses in most single-detached neighbourhoods in the city since 2011. 

Since then, however, the composite benchmark price of a Coquitlam detached house has increased 143%, compared to an average of 80% in the rest of Greater Vancouver; Coquitlam’s rental vacancy rate is among the lowest, at 0.7%, and the city’s rental rates are the same or higher than anywhere else in the region. Also, Coquitlam is currently sitting with just a 2 months supply of housing, mostly strata units. Clearly, the Metro region has a long way to go in adding supply if progressive Coquitlam can’t even keep up.

The B.C. plan to mandate four-plex density zoning on detached lots will increase the price of a house for rental investors or developers but it won’t deliver more homes people can buy. In the 30-page Homes for People report, strata is never even mentioned. This means house owners who opt into the plan must also become landlords, which many owners have no interest in.

The Homes for People plan is really a ‘houses for rental investors, speculators and tenants.’ This is not a bad thing, but it falls far short of the altruistic hyperbole that always surrounds such government announcements.

Bottom line: We are now at the start of the first normal market in three years. We don’t have ultra-low ‘quantitative easing’ interest rates; the sales-to-listing ratio is becoming balanced; and prices and sales are steadily increasing. All we now need is back-to-normal listings, which, hopefully, we can move toward this spring.

March 2023 report on regional markets:

Greater Vancouver: This is now a near-classic seller’s market. Greater Vancouver is down to a mere 3-month supply of townhouses and apartments available for sale, while detached houses are at a 4-month supply. Something to note: the benchmark composite home price is now 22% higher than it was three years ago when the global pandemic began. Detached sales improved significantly in March, in some areas leading in comparison to last month. While strata units were in seller’s market conditions last month, detached has also shifted to a seller’s advantage, based on current inventory levels. The benchmark price for all residential properties is currently $1,143,900. This represents a 1.8% increase compared to February 2023. The March benchmark detached house price is $1,861,800, up 2.7% – or about $50,000 – from a month earlier. “On the pricing side, the spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about 1% to 2% across all product types,” noted Andrew Lis, director of economics and data analytics for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. 

Fraser Valley: Total housing sales in March posted a 72.6% increase from a month earlier and the 1,550 transactions marked the first-time monthly sales topped 1,000 since August 2022. New listings, at 2,559, were 32% higher than in February, but still 44% below last year, while active listings were up 2.8% over last month. However, listings remain among the lowest March level in a decade. The Fraser Valley Real Estate calls it a week seller’s market, with the overall sales ratio at 31% and townhouse sales-to-listing ratio at 62%. Benchmark prices for detached houses increased 1.9% month-to-month, to $1,390,600. Townhouses were up 2.3% from February, at $794,400; and condo apartments reached $521.800 also, up 2.3% from a month before.

Vancouver Westside: Multiple offers are back in the most-watched market as sales of detached houses in March were the highest since March 2022 and benchmark prices shot up 3.7% from February 2023, to $3,218,500. With 94 sales from 177 listings, the sales ratio was 57% in this seller’s market. Total March residential sales were 449, up 42% from February 2023, and 131% higher than in January 2023. Active listings were at 1,977 at month-end compared to 2,065 at that time last year and 1,923 at the end of February; new listings in March were up 29% compared to February 2023. The supply of total residential assets for sale is down to 4 months and the overall sales-to-listings ratio is 49% compared to 44% in February 2023 as the Westside readies for an active spring.

Vancouver East Side: March sales were 143% higher than in January 2023 and 45% above February 2023, at 287 transactions. With total supply down to 899 properties and new listings up 20% from February, we are calling this a seller’s market. The sales-to-new-listing ratio in March was 62%, compared to 68% a year ago. The benchmark detached house price was up 2.1% from February 2023 and the benchmark price rose 1.7%, month-over-month to $1,135,500. Condo sales led the market in March, with 111 transactions at a median price of 
$665,000.

North Vancouver: New listings didn’t last long in March, with a 72% sales-to-listing ratio and total sales of 215 properties, led by 111 condo apartment sales at a benchmark of $782,800, a price up 2.5% from a month earlier. Townhouses are benchmarked at $1,304,000 with detached houses at $2,141,300, both marginally higher than in February. Total new listings rose 45% from a month earlier, but with sales up 44% month-over-month, a 58% sales-to-listing ratio and prices rising across the board, this remains a strong seller’s market.

West Vancouver: Since the first of this year, 135 homes have sold in West Vancouver and 64 of them sold in March when sales were up 129% from January. But new listings were up just 6% from February and the total inventory of 463 properties represents about a 7-month supply. This buyer’s market is seeking balance with a sales ratio of 39% and the benchmark home price at $1,274,300, up 2.2% from February 2023 but 8% lower than in March 2022. Looking for a deal? West Vancouver’s detached house prices are down 9% from a year ago, at $3,019,500.

Richmond: Richmond posted the largest month-over-month house price increase in the region, with March detached house prices up 6.6% from February to $2,108,100. Total sales were also much higher, rocketing up 55% from a month earlier. Detached sales were up 50% at 95 transactions. Richmond is a seller’s market on steroids, with a sales-to-new-listing ratio of 74%, compared to 49% in February and 63% in March of last year, and total inventory is down to three months.

Burnaby East: Modest increases in home sales, up 5% from February to just 20 transactions in March, compared to a 135% increase in listings would normally signal a buyer’s market. But with just a two-month supply of total active listings and a 43% sales-to-listing ratio, we are calling this to the seller’s advantage. The benchmark home price in March was $1,156,600, up 2.2% from a month earlier but down more than 10% from the same month last year.

Burnaby North: Detached house prices edged up 2% from February to $1,878,200 in March, the highest increase in Burnaby but still 10% below March 2022. Townhouse and condo prices were virtually unchanged from February 2023. This is a seller’s market with a sales-to-new-listing ratio of 71% and just a two-month supply on the market. There are 388 active listings on the market, with new listings up 17% from February 2023. Total sales in March tallied 169 transactions, the highest level so far this year.

Burnaby South: Total sales have been rising month-over-month in the first quarter and reached 130 in March, at a benchmark home price of $1,075,100. This remains a seller’s market, though sales are still down 40% from a year ago and prices are 8.5% lower.  Active listings were 408 at month-end compared to 395 at that time last year and 377 at the end of February. Total listings are steady at 3 month’s supply and the sales-to-listings ratio of 55% compares to 57% in February 2023 and 59% in March 2022.

New Westminster: There is a wide price spread for condo apartments in New Westminster, where the condo benchmark price is $648,000. Dig down and you will find the median condo price varies from a low of $455,000 in the West End of the Royal City to $522,000 in the uptown and peaked at $885,000 in Queensborough, based on March sales stats. That is why it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you if you are a new buyer in historic New West. The overall market is active, with total sales of 96 in March, which was 140% higher than in January 2023 and up 46% from February. This is a seller’s market still, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 68% and just 229 properties on the market.

Coquitlam: As noted above, Coquitlam was a pioneer in up-zoning detached homes to create more housing units per lot, which the city started in 2011, and the BC government now wants to mandate across the province. The rather unsettling result is that, 12 years later, Coquitlam has only a 2-month supply of homes with just 428 on the market as of the end of March. And sales are increasing, with March transactions rising 24% from a month earlier and up 169% since January, to 196.
The benchmark price is up 2% from the start of the first quarter, at $1,065,800. This is a seller’s market, with a 64% sales-to-listing ratio, which is higher than in March 2022, and prices rising for all property types. 

Port Moody: The first master-planned residential community approved and moving forward since 2004 is now pre-selling in Port Moody. The 23-acre, $1.1 billion Portwood development, by Edgar Development, includes 2,000 strata homes and about 470 rentals in the Woodland Park area. The new homes are badly needed as other new projects remain stalled and there is barely a 2-month supply of resales on the market. With total sales of 80 in March, up 70% from a month earlier, the benchmark price is up 2.4% so far this year to $1,105,200 and detached houses are selling at a benchmark of $2,107,400, up 2.4% from a month earlier. The sales-to-listing ratio is high at 70%, nearly the same as a year ago. (Incidentally, the cost for the developer to deliver Portwood included $2.85 million in public art; $30 million for a new road; 328 low-rent housing units for BC Housing, and donating 70% of the land for green space. 

Port Coquitlam: Like Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam also has a plan of “gentle density” to add more housing units on detached lots. However, only 66 new homes have started in the entire Tri-Cities market so far this year. Port Coquitlam has seen housing sales double so far this year, to 69 in March and the benchmark home price is up 3.1% since January at $915,700, which is still down nearly 12% from a year ago. The sales-to-new-listing ratio in March was a balanced 54% as this seller’s market readies for the spring buying season with a total of 160 properties on the market.

Pitt Meadows: Total March sales were up 87% compared to both January and February, to 28 transactions, as the residential benchmark price edged up 2.5% from February to $846,500. This price remains 20% below March 2022. With a total of 69 active listings and a sales ratio of 65%, this is a seller’s market, but March saw a 59% increase in new listings from February, so buyer selection is improving. 

Maple Ridge: Maple Ridge benchmark prices also remain nearly 20% below a year ago, with detached houses selling for $1,179,500 in March, up a modest 1.1% from the first of this year. There was a total of 149 homes sold in March, 129% higher than in January and up 16% from February. With 495 active listings on the market and 54% of new listings selling in March, this is a steady seller’s market. Buyers may want to look at townhouses, now selling for $731,700, the lowest price in the Greater Vancouver mainland market, and down 19% from March 2022.

Ladner: Ladner continues to struggle for townhouse and condo listings, with townhouses only having 1 month supply and a 92% absorption rate and condos seeing the most sales since October 2021. In March, total sales of all property types were up 138% from January and the sales-to-listing ratio hit 55%. But this is not a balanced seller’s market, with townhouse prices up a market-leading 8.6% since the first of the year, to $998,500; and condo prices up 6.5% in the same period to $714,300. The supply of total residential listings is down to a 3-month inventory at the current sales pace.

Tsawwassen: Sunny Tsawwassen turned on the heat in March, with housing sales up 40% from a month earlier to 35 units. The strata market is sizzling, with townhouse benchmark prices rising 11.5% since January 1, to just over $1 million; and condo prices up 6.6% in the same period to $740,600 – a price slightly above March 2022 and 37% higher than even three years ago. This is pegged as a balanced market with a sales-to-listing ratio of 43%, but sellers are fully in control of the tight townhouse and condo sector. 

Surrey: The city posted an 84.8% increase in detached-house sales in March compared to a month earlier, with the composite benchmark price unchanged at $1,503,200, though still down 19.5% from March 2022. Townhouse sales were up 59% from February and condo sales rose 48%, month-over-month, to 217 transactions at an average price of $536,054. With active listings, sales and prices rising this year in every market from North Surrey to South Surrey-White Rock, B.C.'s second-biggest city is shaping up as a very active spring market, with buyers holding a slight edge.


Download March Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos
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Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report for February 2023

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.

Download February Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos

Download February Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

Read

Sales and Listing Report for Mid-February 2023

When the calendar turned to February, many would have liked to see the Groundhog determine the next 6 months of real estate instead of the next 6 weeks of weather here in Metro Vancouver. But we don’t need a groundhog to see the market is turning, but what it’s turning into isn’t exactly clear – other than more active and more competition among buyers.


Sales are picking up, showings and open houses are busier, but there is less exuberant activity when it comes to new listings. The tap to the spring market is on, but the question remains; how many listings will flow out of it?


At the mid-point of February, there have been 878 sales in Greater Vancouver, far higher than the 334 that had sold at the mid-point of January, and about 100 more sales than the mid-point of November and December last year. The numbers show a definite shift in activity, and more so the shift is felt in the chatter amongst REALTORS® who are commenting on the number of offers being received on new and existing listings. Showing activity is up considerably and buyers are out looking, even in the face of the latest increase by the Bank of Canada at the end of January. Of course, this is well below the 1,889 sales at the mid-point in February 2022, and 1,753 at the mid-point of February 2021. If we went back to mid-February 2019 though, it’s an increase on the 782 at that point – that being the most comparable market to what we are seeing in the last 8 months. 

At mid-month in Greater Vancouver there have been 1,846 new listings, which is above the 1,379 new listings at the mid-point of January but significantly below the 3,010 new listings at the midpoint of February 2022 and below the 2,240 new listings at the mid-point of February 2019. The slow climb of active listings continues with that number up to 8,072 after finishing 2022 with 7,791.


We would typically see a higher rate of increase moving through February, but many sellers are playing the wait and see game along with other sellers that don’t feel they have something to buy if they sell their current home. Our market continues to be one of a lack of homes and that’s not going to change any time soon.


A 24% sales-to-listings ratio in January has turned to 48% in February – meaning 1 out of every 2 homes listed is selling so far this month. This of course doesn’t consider those listings that expire or are taken off the market by sellers. With the absorption rate increasing, it’s putting more pressure on those listings coming to the market. And as a comparison to 2019, the absorption rate at the mid-month of February that year was 24% - a much slower pace of sales. This is reaffirming that in our current market, if there were more listings there would be a lot more sales.

What were some February notable markets? Burnaby North and South have seen more sales so far in February than all of January, along with Coquitlam while Ladner has already hit January’s peak. Burnaby East is suffering with a lack of listings with there only being 12 so far compared to 44 in all of January. Vancouver’s East Side condo market continues to be ultra competitive with as many sales so far as January while less than half the number of new listings – producing a 69% absorption rate. In Richmond, detached and townhomes have seen more sales so far compared to last month, while condos there are lagging. In most areas, detached homes are showing the strongest absorption rates – this after condos had been ruling the market. This isn’t the case in New Westminster where buyers are still showing a stronger propensity to buy in the condo market. And Coquitlam, while showing more strength in all segments of its market, still has buyers seeking condos. Perhaps a “if you build it, they will come” scenario there. And given recent reports stating that the actual demand for rental apartments is undercounted, it is literally a case of governments not building enough for the demand they don’t even realize exists. 

One of the more extreme areas is Port Coquitlam where the absorption rate for houses is 17% so far and townhouses 300% - only 3 new listings with 9 sales so far. And just through the tunnel, Ladner continues to have a limited supply of townhomes and condos with a 60 and 70% absorption rate. And in Tsawwassen, after seeing 41 new detached listings, there have only been 7 so far in February. And after there being no townhouse sales in January in Tsawwassen, there have been 3 so far with only 4 new listings.  


The market continues to scream for listings, and if you are considering selling, now is the time. The dull days of fall have turned into a faster pace as we move through winter and into spring. And while it’s not quite spring yet, there is certainly a spring in the real estate market in Metro Vancouver.


With the shorter month, total sales may not hit 2,000 for the first time since June 2022, but expect that to change in March as more listings come on and buyers competing look to find their home.


Here’s a summary of the numbers:

Greater Vancouver 

878 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

334 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
793 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
795 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
1,889 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
1,753 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
1,039 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
782 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

1,846 new listings so far in February compared to

1,379 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
984 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
3,010 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
1,639 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
1,935 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
2,240 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 8,072 compared to 6,477 at mid-month in February 2022, and 7,294 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 48% compared to 63% at mid-month in February 2022 and 24% at mid-month in January 2023.

Vancouver West 

143 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

62 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
157 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
135 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
355 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
280 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
154 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
167 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

354 new listings so far in February compared to

303 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
194 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
593 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
497 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
330 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
514 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 1,857 compared to 1,847 at mid-month in February 2022, and 1,723 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 40% compared to 60% at mid-month in February 2022 and 20% at mid-month in January 2023.

Vancouver East

95 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

41 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
75 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
71 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
205 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
197 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
111 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
87 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

189 new listings so far in February compared to
144 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
109 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
348 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
276 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
185 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
216 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 877 compared to 812 at mid-month in February 2022, and 793 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 50% compared to 59% at mid-month in February 2022 and 28% at mid-month in January 2023.

North Vancouver

68 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

20 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
69 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
79 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
125 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
133 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
55 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
92 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

123 new listings so far in February compared to
93 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
62 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
218 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
203 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
183 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
194 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 425 compared to 348 at mid-month in February 2022, and 377 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 55% compared to 57% at mid-month in February 2022 and 22% at mid-month in January 2023.

West Vancouver 

22 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

8 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
28 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
14 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
44 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
47 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
20 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
25 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

84 new listings so far in February compared to

46 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
30 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
137 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
83 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
77 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
107 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 424 compared to 348 at mid-month in February 2022, and 395 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 26% compared to 32% at mid-month in February 2022 and 17% at mid-month in January 2023.

Richmond

102 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

47 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
104 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
128 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
218 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
200 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
127 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
116 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

255 new listings so far in February compared to

196 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
145 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
400 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
292 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
236 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
273 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 1,011 compared to 851 at mid-month in February 2022, and 879 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 40% compared to 55% at mid-month in February 2022 and 24% at mid-month in January 2023.

Burnaby East 

7 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

3 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
7 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
4 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
15 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
19 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
10 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
7 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

12 new listings so far in February compared to

11 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
13 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
27 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
30 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
18 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
19 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 81 compared to 42 at mid-month in February 2022, and 69 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 58% compared to 56% at mid-month in February 2022 and 27% at mid-month in January 2023.

Burnaby North 

65 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

21 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
46 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
51 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
128 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
93 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
58 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
46 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

112 new listings so far in February compared to

70 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
58 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
170 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
132 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
90 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
78 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 395 compared to 253 at mid-month in February 2022, and 343 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 58% compared to 84% at mid-month in February 2022 and 30% at mid-month in January 2023.

Burnaby South 

58 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

15 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
57 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
55 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
117 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
94 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
52 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
47 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

113 new listings so far in February compared to

66 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
45 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
140 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
128 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
91 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
118 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 368 compared to 279 at mid-month in February 2022, and 324 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 51% compared to 84% at mid-month in February 2022 and 23% at mid-month in January 2023.

New Westminster 

30 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

15 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
31 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
26 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
94 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
76 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
40 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
34 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

62 new listings so far in February compared to

37 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
22 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
124 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
115 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
68 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
85 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 227 compared to 163 at mid-month in February 2022, and 203 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 48% compared to 76% at mid-month in February 2022 and 41% at mid-month in January 2023.

Coquitlam 

78 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

22 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
45 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
68 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
138 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
145 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
92 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
75 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

129 new listings so far in February compared to

107 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
64 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
230 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
204 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
165 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
154 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 485 compared to 359 at mid-month in February 2022, and 203 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 60% compared to 60% at mid-month in February 2022 and 21% at mid-month in January 2023.

Port Moody

19 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

2 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
28 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
16 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
41 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
36 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
18 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
17 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

49 new listings so far in February compared to

43 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
32 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
77 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
54 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
50 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
43 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 203 compared to 107 at mid-month in February 2022, and 165 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 39% compared to 53% at mid-month in February 2022 and 5% at mid-month in January 2023.

Port Coquitlam 

20 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

16 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
17 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
24 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
55 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
60 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
46 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
25 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

45 new listings so far in February compared to

29 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
34 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
79 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
86 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
55 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
73 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 132 compared to 88 at mid-month in February 2022, and 123 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 44% compared to 70% at mid-month in February 2022 and 55% at mid-month in January 2023.

Ladner 

16 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

5 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
5 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
7 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
13 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
27 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
20 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
13 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

35 new listings so far in February compared to

18 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
14 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
30 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
42 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
33 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
29 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 91 compared to 49 at mid-month in February 2022, and 72 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 46% compared to 43% at mid-month in February 2022 and 28% at mid-month in January 2023.

Tsawwassen

15 units sold so far in February 2023 compared to

7 units sold at mid-month in January 2023 
19 units sold at mid-month in December 2022 
14 units sold at mid-month in November 2022
50 units sold at mid-month in February 2022
30 units sold at mid-month in February 2021
18 units sold at mid-month in February 2020
11 units sold at mid-month in February 2019

23 new listings so far in February compared to

21 new listings at mid-month in January 2023
16 new listings at mid-month in December 2022 
56 new listings at mid-month in February 2022
33 new listings at mid-month in February 2021
52 new listings at mid-month in February 2020
26 new listings at mid-month in February 2019

Total active listings are at 135 compared to 87 at mid-month in February 2022, and 120 at mid-month in January 2023.

Sales to listings ratio is at 65% compared to 89% at mid-month in February 2022 and 33% at mid-month in January 2023.

Download February Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos

Download February Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

Read

Sales and Listing Report for January 2023

 “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo


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 a 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 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 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 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 are 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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Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report for Mid-January 2023

It’s not how it looks.

As the calendar turned to 2023, real estate in British Columbia became a lot more complicated. Having dealt with a City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax, the provincial Speculation and Vacancy Tax and a provincial foreign buyer’s tax, we were given the gift of a provincial 3 Day Home Buyer Rescission Period, a two-year ban on foreign buyers across Canada and a national Underused Homes Tax – essentially a Canada wide empty homes tax for foreign owned properties. If your new years resolution was more government regulation, you got it! While all these policies really just attack the demand side of the home buying equation, we started the year yet again with an extremely low level of active listings, and so far that’s not changing. While sales are slow to start the year, we are only two weeks in and rescission or not, buyers are out shopping. Will they find more homes stocked on the shelves as we move through the first part of 2023, that remains an important question.

At the mid-point of January, there have been 334 sales in Greater Vancouver. This is well below the 795 at the mid-point in December and of course below the 788 at the mid-point of January last year, which was a completely different market. If we compare to January 2019, which was coming out of one of the slowest years on record, it was more closely matched with there being 396 sales in January 2019. It’s still early, and the number of sales in January in the second half tend to be more than 3 times what they are in the first two weeks. And if there is a more significant increase in the number of new listings, the number of sales will be that much higher. January 2019 finished with 1,120 sales after a similar start to this month, so it is quite likely we’ll see similar numbers if not more depending on whether sellers come to the market this month. And judging by the comments of REALTORS® over the last week, open houses have been much busier than the fall and there have been multiple offers occurring on what limited number of homes there are on the market. After sitting through the last few months of the year, some listings are seeing offers come in. Perhaps a sign that buyers are adjusting to the new levels of interest rates and that the pent-up demand is starting to get more active. And most certainly a sign that sellers may want to jump on an early spring market.

At mid-month in Greater Vancouver there have been only 1,379 new listings, which is above the 984 new listings at the mid-point of December but significantly below the 1,639 new listings at the midpoint of January 2022 and much more below the number of new listings of 1,940 at the mid-point of January 2019 – you know, that other slow market period. After seeing active listings drop below 7,000 in Greater Vancouver, there are now 7,294 listings, up, but ever so slightly. A 24% sales-to-listings ratio has helped, but with the few numbers of new listings, it’s not adding much to the well of active listings so far.

While it is too early to recognize trends in any market, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Port Moody appear to be the slowest out of the gate for sales. As of the middle of the month, Port Moody only had two sales – and they were condos and North Vancouver had only seen one townhouse sale. Certainly, in the case of Port Moody, the available number of new listings is a contributing factor in the low number of sales. New Westminster is following along the same path for new listings as December, very few and as a result that’s hold back sales. Coquitlam is bucking the trend with a higher pace of new listings so far in January, with the condo segment being the larger extend of new listings. And with, Coquitlam City Council starting its first meeting of 2023 by sending the Polygon proposal for a massive development out for comment that would see 2,835 units built at the Port Moody border, just north of Lougheed Highway. This would be similar to what Marcon Quadreal is planning to build at the corner of Lougheed and Barnet Highway. All while Port Moody seeing a bid from Wesgroup come in to assemble 59 single-family homes for a high-density development. These two cities are focussing on development – perhaps something others should take note of. And given the lack of listings buyers have to shop from, they can’t come soon enough.

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

Greater Vancouver

334 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
793 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
788 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
977 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
538 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
396 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

1,379 new listings so far in January compared to
984 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
1,639 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
2,185 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
1,924 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
1,940 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 7,294 compared to 5,427 at mid-month in January 2022, and 8,787 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 24% compared to 48% at mid-month in January 2022 and 81% at mid-month in December 2022.

Vancouver West

62 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
157 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
152 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
154 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
89 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
57 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

303 new listings so far in January compared to
194 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
395 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
426 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
178 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
193 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 1,723 compared to 1,637 at mid-month in January 2022, and 2,085 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 20% compared to 48% at mid-month in January 2022 and 81% at mid-month in December 2022.

Vancouver East

41 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
75 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
88 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
97 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
48 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
41 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

144 new listings so far in January compared to
109 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
153 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
236 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
178 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
193 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 793 compared to 652 at mid-month in January 2022, and 979 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 28% compared to 58% at mid-month in January 2022 and 69% at mid-month in December 2022.

North Vancouver

20 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
69 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
49 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
55 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
30 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
31 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

93 new listings so far in January compared to
62 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
82 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
155 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
163 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
151 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 377 compared to 233 at mid-month in January 2022, and 442 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 22% compared to 60% at mid-month in January 2022 and 111% at mid-month in December 2022.

West Vancouver

8 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
28 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
11 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
20 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
10 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
7 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

46 new listings so far in January compared to
145 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
52 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
96 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
91 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
59 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 395 compared to 337 at mid-month in January 2022, and 496 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 17% compared to 21% at mid-month in January 2022 and 76% at mid-month in December 2022.

Richmond

47 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
104 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
130 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
127 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
92 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
49 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

196 new listings so far in January compared to
145 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
266 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
277 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
264 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
293 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 879 compared to 722 at mid-month in January 2022, and 1,048 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 24% compared to 49% at mid-month in January 2022 and 72% at mid-month in December 2022.

Burnaby East

3 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
7 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
6 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
5 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
8 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
3 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

11 new listings so far in January compared to
13 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
11 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
19 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
21 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
22 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 69 compared to 29 at mid-month in January 2022, and 91 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 27% compared to 55% at mid-month in January 2022 and 54% at mid-month in December 2022.

Burnaby North

21 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
46 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
36 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
61 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
38 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
22 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

70 new listings so far in January compared to
58 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
83 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
130 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
99 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
91 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 343 compared to 236 at mid-month in January 2022, and 391 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 30% compared to 43% at mid-month in January 2022 and 79% at mid-month in December 2022.

Burnaby South

15 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
57 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
54 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
72 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
41 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
23 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

66 new listings so far in January compared to
45 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
116 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
136 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
106 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
105 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 324 compared to 264 at mid-month in January 2022, and 835 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 23% compared to 47% at mid-month in January 2022 and 127% at mid-month in December 2022.

New Westminster

15 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
31 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
38 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
36 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
18 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
27 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

37 new listings so far in January compared to
22 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
62 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
100 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
18 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
27 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 203 compared to 145 at mid-month in January 2022, and 264 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 41% compared to 61% at mid-month in January 2022 and 141% at mid-month in December 2022.

Coquitlam

22 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
45 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
64 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
104 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
57 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
27 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

107 new listings so far in January compared to
64 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
91 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
161 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
140 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
144 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 434 compared to 255 at mid-month in January 2022, and 536 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 21% compared to 70% at mid-month in January 2022 and 70% at mid-month in December 2022.

Port Moody

2 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
28 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
19 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
17 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
16 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
10 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

43 new listings so far in January compared to
32 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
25 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
34 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
31 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
25 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 165 compared to 81 at mid-month in January 2022, and 167 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 5% compared to 76% at mid-month in January 2022 and 88% at mid-month in December 2022.

Port Coquitlam

16 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
17 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
19 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
25 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
21 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
16 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

29 new listings so far in January compared to
34 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
44 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
80 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
65 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
67 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 123 compared to 66 at mid-month in January 2022, and 166 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 55% compared to 43% at mid-month in January 2022 and 50% at mid-month in December 2022.

Ladner

5 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
5 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
9 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
7 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
12 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
1 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

18 new listings so far in January compared to
14 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
16 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
15 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
37 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
24 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 72 compared to 34 at mid-month in January 2022, and 86 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 28% compared to 56% at mid-month in January 2022 and 36% at mid-month in December 2022.

Tsawwassen

7 units sold so far in January 2023 compared to
19 units sold at mid-month in December 2022
13 units sold at mid-month in January 2022
16 units sold at mid-month in January 2021
7 units sold at mid-month in January 2020
2 units sold at mid-month in January 2019

21 new listings so far in January compared to
16 new listings at mid-month in December 2022
33 new listings at mid-month in January 2022
43 new listings at mid-month in January 2021
37 new listings at mid-month in January 2020
37 new listings at mid-month in January 2019

Total active listings are at 120 compared to 74 at mid-month in January 2022, and 135 at mid-month in December 2022.

Sales to listings ratio is at 33% compared to 39% at mid-month in January 2022 and 119% at mid-month in December 2022.

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Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report December 2022: A year ends with a flourish and a new year begins with confidence.

We will all remember the 2022 housing market as one of the most volatile that Metro Vancouver has ever seen, rising to unprecedented highs early in the year only to fall to a near 40-year low by December. Along the way the year crushed every cliché in the residential market. January and February sales, normally the slowest sales months of the year, were among the strongest. September, traditionally a stellar month, posted lower sales than August.

Year-over-year sales fell about 50% but prices proved amazingly resilient, with a mere 3.3% decrease in the benchmark composite home price. Most strata prices increased. And, to cap it all off, the normally sedate December posted a sales-to-new-listing ratio of more than 100% to put an exclamation point on an unforgettable year.

It is all rather reminiscent of 2018, and for a similar reason: anti-demand government policies - – including seven consecutive interest rate increases in 2022 – putting the brakes on eager buyers. The one major difference from 2018, sellers were far more absent as new listings were far more scarce.

We all must deal with continued government intervention in 2023, none of which address the underlying problem of a lack of supply in Metro Vancouver’s housing market. The shortage of both resale listings and new home construction was starkly apparent in December 2022, when total listings of homes was down 41% compared to a year earlier and new listings plunged 60% from November 2022. 

At the same time, starts of new non-rental homes in Metro Vancouver fell to 13,950 units as of December 1, down from 17,708 in the same period in 2021. And the government’s response to this dramatic shortfall? The complicated new and largely unnecessary B.C. Land Owner Transparency Registry, which  became mandatory on November 30 on residential purchases and require a lawyer’s assistance to complete;  a two-year federal ban on foreign homebuyers, which began January 1, 2023 and will discourage new speculative construction as immigration levels reach record highs; and B.C.’s unnecessary three-day cooling off period for homebuyers, effective January 3, 2023, in a market where the average listing now takes 31 days to sell. While giving buyers 3 days to decide if they want to move forward, it doesn’t technically allow for due diligence by a buyer and imposes a penalty on buyers if they want to rescind. As well, several Metro municipalities are increasing development cost charges on new home construction, even as developers are reeling from higher construction costs and land prices and slowing pre-sales of new strata units. 

When you consider what this market deals with, its resiliency is amazing and quite encouraging as we enter a new year, especially for homebuyers. The bottom line is that, with more than 50,000 new immigrants expected to arrive in B.C. in 2023 and governments pushing to stunt the housing supply, Metro Vancouver home prices will continue to face upward pressure.

December was likely a harbinger of what is to come. With just 1,240 new listings in the month, there were 1,303 sales, resulting in a sales-to-new-listing of a startling 105%. This is not indicative of slowing demand or owners desperate to sell.

We’ve not seen new listings for the month of December this low going back as far as 1991 in Greater Vancouver. If anyone thinks sellers are panic selling, this suggests the exact opposite and sets up 2023 to be a year with a skinny selection in front of hungry buyers. While the story of the real estate market tends to be the lack of sales that occurred in the second half of 2022, the drop in listings is the true underlying theme in the real estate market.

December benchmark prices are also an eye-opener. Despite all the angst in 2022, the forecasts of recession and a crash in values, average home prices are virtually the same now as 12 months ago. The overall average composite home price in December was $1,183,802, only $57,000 (or 4.2%) below the near-record price a year earlier. Some markets and housing types have higher average prices now than 12 months ago, including the bellwether Westside of Vancouver, where condo apartment prices have increased $30,000 and the East Side of Vancouver, where average townhouse prices in December were up about $120,000 from the end of 2021.

Based on current trends, 2023 looks like more of the same: gently rising home prices against a background of increased demand and a tight supply. Without more listings on the market, the true strength of this emerging buyer’s market will not be fully realized.

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

Greater Vancouver:

This is a balanced market, with only a low supply keeping it from tipping to a full-blown buyer’s market. Total units sold in December were 1,303 and total new listings were 1,240, resulting in a 105% sales-to-new-listing ratio, one of the highest in all of 2022. New listings were down 61% from November 2022 and 38% lower than in December 2021, which hampered many buyers. More listings would have resulted in higher sales, without a doubt. The low supply assured prices would remain constant, with the composite benchmark price in December at $1,131,600, down less than $20,000 from December 2021. With a further 55,000 international immigrants expected to arrive in 2023, listings in short supply and rents at record highs, the price pressure on homes is becoming intense.

Vancouver Westside:

This is the most-watched housing market in B.C. and it provides all the evidence needed that we are heading into a buyer’s market, with eager purchasers held in check only by a lack of supply. Despite an average price of nearly $3,489,1341 in December, 78% of new listings for detached houses sold. In the condominium apartment market, the sales success ratio was 114% and the average price of $993,400 was 3.1% higher than both a month and a year earlier. The townhouse sector saw December sales sag to 16, largely because new listings dropped to just 28 units, the lowest monthly level in at least two years. Still, the average Westside townhouse price in December was $1,566,761, the highest since July 2022.  The supply of total residential listings is still at 8 month’s supply, representing perhaps an irresistible buyer’s market as we head into 2023.

Vancouver East Side:

Next year is when it all comes together for the East Side housing market. The Broadway Plan is pushing density higher from Renfrew Street to Mount Pleasant with the new SkyTrain Subway as the development of the 450-acre False Creek Flats and its new St. Paul’s Hospital kick into high gear. Relaxed zoning allows three housing units on each detached lot and rental rates are soaring. Heady times indeed and savvy buyers and investors have started early. In December, 38 detached houses sold, representing 103% of the new listings available. Yet the average detached house price, at $1,766,997, is the lowest since December 2020 and half the price as the neighbouring Westside. Condos are also attractive for East Side buyers: the sales-to-new-listing ratio in December was 97% and the benchmark price has barely budged (down 0.5%) from a year ago. This is the market to get into now, while there is seven-month supply of homes available and prices are holding steady. We doubt that will be the case three months from now. 

North Vancouver

The overall sales-to-listing ratio in December was a startling 132% and there is only a 4-month supply of listings on the market, setting the stage for a very competitive market. Total sales were down 45% from a year earlier, to 107, but new listings dropped 32% year-over-year and were down nearly 70% from November 2022. The condo market is a sector to watch. The Lonsdale Quay/ Lower Lonsdale area is now a destination and was responsible for many of the 1,208 North Vancouver condo sales in 2022. Benchmark condo prices at $756,000 in December are up 1.6% from a year ago but have been declining an average of 1.5% per month since the spring. Be careful shopping in the new pre-sale strata market in North Vancouver City and District, which have brought in the Step 5 (net-zero) building code, which adds expenses and delays due to new super-energy-saving construction. All homes are in short supply, with just 385 active listings as of the end of December, down from 529 a month earlier. 

West Vancouver:

Total housing sales in December, with 40 transactions, were down 34% from December of 2021 but up from the 28 sales in November 2022. Active listings were 448 at month end, but new listings in December were down 58% from November and 6% lower than a year earlier. This market is defined by its detached housing, which posted an impressive 124% sales-to-new-listing ratio in December as 26 houses sold at an average price of just slightly under $3 million. The supply of total residential listings is down to an 11 month’s supply (buyer’s market conditions) and the sales to listings ratio of 85% compares to 25% in November 2022. This is a buyer’s market but don’t expect dramatically lower prices. The overall December benchmark, at $2,559,400, was still nearly 19% higher than in pre-pandemic 2019.

Richmond:

If any market will feel the brunt of the two-year foreign homebuyer ban it will likely be Richmond, but the ban is rather toothless because of exceptions to the federal legislation in force from Jan. 1, 2023. Foreigners with a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian are exempt as the spouse or partner would be the purchaser, as are permanent residents (those who have immigrated but are not yet citizens), foreigners with temporary work permits, refugees and most long-term international students can take advantage of exemptions depending on their situation. December sales in Richmond, at 171, were the lowest in three months and down 56% from December 2021. But there is a good selection for buyers, with 919 total listings at month’s end, compared to 723 a year ago. The benchmark price for a detached house is $1,978,200, down nearly 3% from November 2022. A total of 96 townhouses sold in December at a benchmark of $1,049,800, a price unchanged from three months earlier. Condo apartment sales benchmarked at $689,400, up 6% from December 2021. With a sales-to-listing ratio at 99% and a 5-month supply of listings, this is a balanced market.

Burnaby East:

This sub-market posted just 12 sales in December, a small share of the 183 transactions across Burnaby in the month, but it also had the highest benchmark home price in the municipality, at $1,082,300. Detached house prices, benchmarked at $1,657,400, were down 5.1% from a month earlier and 6% lower than a year ago. Total active listings of 74 at month’s end were more than doubled a year earlier, but new listings dropped 62% from a month earlier. There is a 6-month supply, and the sales-to-new-listing is running at a quick 86%, up from 38% in November 2022.

Burnaby North:

Housing sales continue to track lower, with 78 December sales down from 92 a month earlier and 50% lower than in December 2021. Prices are holding fairly firm, however, with the condo apartment price at $692,500, up 2.7% from year earlier. (The sixth residential tower – 396 units – at Brentwood started in December after the first five towers sold out). This is overall a balanced market with a 5-month supply, but the sales-to-listing ratio of 111%, the highest in at least four years, and solid prices mark it as a seller’s advantage.

Burnaby South:

Most of Burnaby’s housing sales – 94 – were in the South in December and this may continue due to the explosion of condo construction in the Metrotown area. Sales were down 20% from November 2022 and 49% lower than in December 2021. Prices are sticky, though, with composite benchmark price at $ $965,300, virtually unchanged (down 1.1%) from a year ago. Detached house prices have held rock-steady for the year at $1,889,000, down 0.5% from December 2021. There are 344 total listings in this seller’s market, down from 425 in November 2022, and the sales-to-new-listing ratio is a robust 159%, one of the highest in Metro Vancouver.

New Westminster:

The Royal City remained a seller’s market in December, with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 183% - up from 164% a year ago – and just a 4-month supply of homes on the market, with 219 total listings. A total of 53 properties sold in December, down 18% from November and 61% below December 2021. The detached house benchmark price is $1,402,600, down 4.3% from a year ago, but townhouse ($872,800) and condo apartment ($619,400) prices are up by same amount year-over-year. Incidentally, New Westminster’s new council has been moving to speed residential developments with some sharp new ideas on quicker approvals. A market to watch in 2023.

Coquitlam:

All Tri-Cities communities are raising or considering increases in development cost charges for residential development, so we will likely be seeing higher prices for new product in 2023. Meanwhile new listings in December were down 69% from November and active listings, at 452 at month’s end, were down from 582 a month earlier, while the sales-to-new-listing ratio is running hot at 107%. Total sales in December were 81, down 40% from November and 42% below December 2021. The composite home price in December, at $1,044,700 is down 3.1% from a year earlier, while detached house benchmarks have slipped down 2.6% year-over-year to $1,698,400, in what is considered a balanced market.

Port Moody:

Total sales in this seller’s market were 41 in December, up 24% from November and down a modest 7% from a year earlier. Active listings were at 155 at month’s end compared to 97 at that time last year and 194 at the end of November. But, with the sales-to-new-listing ratio at 98%, listings are disappearing. The composite home price is at $1,079,300, up 1% from December 2021. 

Port Coquitlam:

The small city has posted its 2023 fee increases, including for residential development, and they remain relatively modest (a multi-family rezoning amendment costs $2,500 plus $200 per unit for each of the first 20 units, as an example). In December 37 residential properties sold, down 65% from December 2021. The sales-to-new-listing ratio is 84%, a reflection of the very low new listings, with just 11 houses, 9 townhouses and 24 condos added to the market in December. This is tight seller’s market, with just a 4-month supply of total listings and the composite home price down just 0.5% from a year ago, at $886,300.

Pitt Meadows:

Pitt Meadows was a popular destination during the pandemic, and the housing market has kept strong this year. Only 23 properties sold in December, compared to 33 at the same time a year ago, but were higher than in both October and November 2022. A 57% drop in new listings month-over-month led to a blistering 191% sales-to-new-listing ratio in December, the highest in years. With just a 2-month supply on the market, the composite benchmark home price is down 8.1% from a year ago at $853,400, but it could increase if the supply remains tight

Maple Ridge:

At $1,666,600 the benchmark price of a detached house dropped 15.4% in December compared to December 2021, the biggest year-over-year price decline in Metro Vancouver. Still, with sales of 78 in December and new listings down 65% from a month earlier, the sales-to-new-listing ratio was 120%, compared to 50% in November this is considered a balanced market. But buyers may start looking, as the composite home price is now $915,800, down 24.6% from six months ago.

Ladner:

Total units sold in December were 9, down from 16 (-44%) in November 2022 and down from 21 (-57%) in December 2021. Benchmark prices are lower across the board, with detached houses down 12.3% from six months ago at $1,299,400; townhouses down 11.2% from June 2022 at $880,200; and condo apartments selling in December at a benchmark of $670,400, about 9% lower than six months ago, but still 34% higher than in pre-pandemic 2019.

Tsawwassen:

With 23 sales in December, transactions were 47% below the same month last year and the composite home price fell 13.4% from six months ago and was down 4.4% year-to-year at $1,143,900. Overall home prices are still 26% above pre-pandemic December 2019. Active listings were 130 at month’s end compared to 68 at that time last year and 150 at the end of November 2022. The sales-to-new-listing ratio is a robust 115% in this balanced market, but slowing sales indicate further price corrections could be coming.

Surrey:  

Sales continue to tumble in B.C.’s second-largest city. Detached house sales fell nearly 70% in December from the same month a year earlier and were down 13.6% compared to November, to 102. The benchmark detached house price is feeling the sales slump, dropping 8.5% year-over-year to $1,510,400. Condo apartment sales plunged a stunning 79% from December 2021 and townhouse sales are down 69% year-over-year, with prices down about 2.5% to $502,800 for condos and $812,200 for townhouses. Even with new listings coming down, we call this a buyer’s market because of the lower prices being seen in one of B.C.’s fastest-growing city.

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Kevin Skipworth
Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty



Read

Sales and Listing Report for October 2022

“There is always a ray of light at the end of every dark tunnel.”

Tink

Positive signs emerge as buyers’ market strengthens

Highlights of the October Report

  • Lowest benchmark home price: New Westminster at $809,800

  • Highest number of Greater Vancouver sales since June 2022

  • Benchmark home price is down 9.2% from six months ago

  • North Vancouver average home prices up 8.5% from September

  • West Side detached house sales highest in six months

  • Immigration surge will drive housing demand higher

The October housing market in Metro Vancouver revealed an economic truism: ‘the cure for higher prices is higher prices’ and that cure is bringing local housing sales and starts back to balance after a rollercoaster year.

This has swung to a buyers’ market that is gaining momentum and may soon appear irresistible.

Cast your memory back to the misty past of 9 months ago, when the benchmark detached house price in Greater Vancouver was $2.04 million, multiple offers were more common than not, property sales were cresting over 3,400 a month and monthly new condo starts were running above 650 units.

Higher prices and interest rates changed everything.

By October 2022, the detached house price had fallen to $1.89 million, housing sales were down to 1,903 for the month and multiple offers are less common. New condo starts dropped 30% from February to just 458 in October as builders struggled with soaring land and construction costs. The only number higher is the mortgage rate, which has basically doubled after six increases, the latest on October 26.

We are now seeing the ramifications of higher prices and the news for home buyers is now quite positive.

There are now five Greater Vancouver mainland markets where the overall composite benchmark home price is below $1 million: New Westminster, Burnaby North, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. Six months ago there was 1.

Those seeking to buy a Greater Vancouver home in virtually any market now can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars less than just a few months ago. The overall benchmark detached house price in October, for example, was $201,500 lower than in May; townhouse prices are $97,500 less expensive; and the benchmark condo apartment price is $52,600 below the level of six months ago.

While home prices have fallen by 9.2% in six months, the average mortgage rate has increased about 3%.

Meanwhile, easing land prices and construction costs promise to bring cancelled or delayed strata projects back to life, likely at lower prices.

Altus Group reports that the average commercial land prices in Metro Vancouver this year have fallen from a high of $4.7 million an acre in the second quarter to $3.3 million in the third quarter, according to preliminary data, which is a dramatic change. Demand for multi-unit residential development land has also fallen with the dollar volume down 50% year-over-year as of mid-2022, to less than $1 billion, while a slowdown in new strata buildings has led to less demand and lower costs for construction materials and labour.

Also, the 50-basis point increase in the Bank of Canada rate on October 26 is a signal that rate increases are slowing and may stop this year. The rate increase was widely expected to be even higher. On October 26,  Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem said, ” This tightening phase will draw to a close.”

With Canadian housing sales falling year-over-year and inflation fears easing, we may have seen the last interest rate hike for this year, perhaps even into 2023.

Then we have the rental pressure that may drive more tenants into homeownership and more condo investors into the market.

Right now, due to the continual shortage, average rental prices in Metro Vancouver are the highest in Canada. As one landlord confided recently, there is little incentive to improve rental stock because, without other options, most renters pay what the landlord feels the market can bear. New or renovated one-bedroom apartments in Vancouver are now asking rents of $3,000 per month, which is enough to cover a $600,000 mortgage.

At this rate, it is now, or soon will be, less expensive to buy an apartment than to rent one. This, in turn, will encourage more investors to purchase a condo to place on the rental market, especially if the provincial government, as planned, legislates that all Strata Corporations must allow rentals.

As well, with the federal government announcing that it wants to increase immigration numbers to 500,000 by 2025, the demand for housing in B.C. is only going to grow. In 2023 Canada hopes to see immigration at 465,000, with skilled labour being a focus.

Governments now realize it must work on supply to increase housing – demand side measures just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

What we have today is a leaner and less mean residential market that should draw nimble buyers back into action and allow listings to increase as sellers and developers become more confident. We can thank higher prices earlier this year.

Here is a look at regional markets for October 2022

Greater Vancouver: Total housing sales in October, at 1,923, were 13% higher than a month earlier and the highest for any month since June 2022, yet still down 45% from October 2021. Compared to October 2021, townhome sales are 49% lower, condo sales 46% lower, and detached home sales down 52%. Detached house sales made up 30% of all transactions in October, while townhouses had a 17% share. Apartment sales accounted for the bulk of the market, with 52% of sales. Total sales were 33% below the 10-year average for the month. The overall average (not benchmark) price for all residential properties was $1,231,759. This is down about $110,000 from the peak in February 2022 and approximately $10,000 below the average price in October 2021. (Average prices often give a raw and accurate example of market performance.)  Active listings were at 10,305 at month end compared to 8,492 at that time last year and 10,424 (down 1%) at the end of September. New listings in October were down 5% compared to September 2022, down 0.5% compared to October 2021. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 5 month’s supply, considered a balanced market, but leaning towards a buyer’s advantage. October’s sales-to-listings ratio of 47% compared to 39% in September 2022 and 86% in October 2021. What’s really telling is that in October 2018 when sales were at a similar level as this October, new listings were 19% lower this October compared to 2018.

Fraser Valley: The Fraser Valley saw 901 total residential sales in October, down 53.5% from a year earlier, but up a scant 0.4% from September 2022. October ended with a total active inventory of 5,642 properties for sale, up 63.7% compared to October 2021. With a sales-to-active listings ratio of 16 per cent, this is a buyer’s market for the fifth straight month. Benchmark detached house prices are down just 0.8% from a year earlier and off 1.8% from September 2022, at $1,436,400.  At $809,800, the benchmark townhouse price decreased 1.5% compared to September 2022 and increased 7.7% compared to October 2021. Condo apartments sold at a benchmark of $527,900, down 0.5% compared to September 2022, but up 11.5% compared to October 2021.

Note to landowners, including detached house owners and those with small acreages along the new SkyTrain corridor to Langley are seeing record-setting land prices. In October, a one-acre assembly near the planned 152nd Street transit station sold for $6.5 million.

Vancouver Westside: Despite all the angst and hand wringing, a look into the Westside detached housing scene – which, let’s be honest, is Canada’s bellwether market – shows October was a lot better than most would think.  The 73 detached sales in the month represented 50% of the new listings last month – the highest sales-to-listing ratio since February – and the average sold price was $3,494,589. Fairly impressive. Total residential sales in October were 342, down 43% from a year earlier but up 14% from September 2022. Condo apartment sales led the October curve, posting 236 transactions at a benchmark price of $827,700, up 0.7% from September 2022, the first month-to-month price increase in at least 6 months.  Townhouse prices have been rising for three months, to reach a benchmark of $1,477,700 in October. With an overall sales-to-listing ratio of 40% or a 7 month supply availalbe, the Westside is close to a balanced market, but we see an opening for buyers in this aspirational community.

Vancouver East Side: Total detached house sales in October were down a startling 51% from a year earlier to just 56 houses, the same as in Coquitlam. But the East Side detached house price was less than in Coquitlam. In fact, it is less expensive to buy a house on the East Side than in any suburban market except Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam or South Delta. East Side house prices now cost 11.5% less than 6 months ago, and we think, at a benchmark of $1,719,100, they offer perhaps the best value in the Lower Mainland. East Side condo apartment prices are now benchmarked at $678,900 and have been declining an average of 1% per month for six months. East Side benchmark townhouse prices in October were 2% lower than a year ago, at $1,028,500. Total East Side housing sales in October were 194, up 9% from a month earlier. The sales-to-listing ratio is running at 44%, fairly healthy, and there is about a 6 month supply of listings in this balanced market.

North Vancouver: A total of 195 residential properties sold in October, up a thundering 52% from September 2022, and the composite benchmark home price rose 0.8% month-over-month to $1,330,800. Detached house prices increased 1.5% from September to $2,124,600. With a 56% sales-to-listing ratio in October and the total inventory down to a 3 month supply, this is perhaps the strongest seller’s market in the Lower Mainland.

West Vancouver: Only 47 residential properties sold in October, up from 42 a month earlier but 48% less than in October 2021. This is a buyer’s market for those who aspire to live in one of Canada’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. There is a generous 13 month supply of homes on the market, 589 in all, and the sales-to-listing ratio is a low 22%, about the same as in October 2018, which was one of the slowest months on record. Despite all this, the composite home benchmark price in West Vancouver is $2,732,300, up 1.1% from September 2022 and nearly 2% higher than a year ago. The typical detached house sold in October for $3,317,500, also slightly higher than in September 2022.

Richmond: Richmond will likely see an influx of buyers, especially from Hong Kong, which has already sent a huge flow of residents this year. Total home sales in Richmond shot up 16% from September to 243 in October though they were down from 49% from the hectic pace of October 2021. The composite home benchmark price has declined 6.6% over the past six months to settle at $1,121,200 in October. There is just a 5 month supply of homes on the market, and the sales-to-listing ratio is a healthy 53%. This is technically a balanced market, but buyers and investors should be paying attention.

Burnaby East: Burnaby East, which borders New Westminster, has the lowest benchmark detached house price in Burnaby, at $1,826,700, but it also has the fastest rising house prices in the municipality. In October detached prices were up 2.3% from a month earlier and 7.6% higher than a year ago. This is a smaller market, with just 22 total residential transactions in October, but this was up 47% from October 2021, a rare increase for any Metro market. The supply of total residential listings is down to 3 month supply and the sales-to-listing ratio is 63% for the past two months. This is a seller’s market to watch.

Burnaby North: Some of the most amenity-rich condo projects in Canada are in North Burnaby’s Brentwood area – a new development will boast a 2.75-acre outdoor “beachfront” and running track plus an indoor bowling alley – so it is not surprising that condos sell well. Yet the benchmark condo price is $711,900, the lowest in Burnaby and well below the Greater Vancouver benchmark. Total residential sales in October reached 96, down 14% from September and 50% lower than in October 2021. Detached houses sold in October at $1,946,300, down 8% from six months earlier. Yet this is a seller’s market, with just a 4 month supply of listings and a sales-to-listing ratio of 48% in October.

Burnaby South: Burnaby South posted 122 housing sales in October, up 27% from a month earlier but 46% lower than in October 2021. The composite benchmark home price, at $1,064,300, has declined 10.3% over the past 6 months but remains 4.4% higher than a year ago. This is also a seller’s market, with a sales-to-listings ratio of 50% and only a 4 month supply of homes for sale as of October.

New Westminster: After a severe slump in September, housing sales rallied 6% in October to a still low 71 transactions. This compares with average sales of more than 166 per month in the same month one and two years ago. The low sales are a bit of a puzzle. The Royal City has proved a magnet for Millennials and the composite home price, at $809,800, is the lowest in Greater Vancouver. Condos led October sales, with 58 transactions at a median of $575,000, about $100,000 less than in neighbouring Burnaby. The Royal City also has SkyTrain service, a riverfront esplanade and a central location in the region so we expect sales will increase. Right now, it is technically a seller’s market with just a 4 month supply of listings and a sales-to-listing ratio of 49%, based on a tight inventory of just 310 homes for sale. But those looking at location and value may decide the city offers an advantage to buyers.

Coquitlam: In October, Coquitlam had more condos for sale (186) than every Greater Vancouver market except Burnaby and Vancouver, a reflection of the SkyTrain-linked strata developments on the Burnaby border. Coquitlam’s condo sales-to-listing ratio is a strong 59% and the median condo price in October was $638,000, third highest in the region. The 56 detached house sales in October were down nearly 50% from a year earlier, but the benchmark price was up 5% in the same period to $1,750,400. Townhouses are benchmarked at more than $1 million. With a total inventory of 619 listings and 3 months supply of listings, this is a seller’s market and has been for quite some time.

Port Moody: Total residential sales, at 44 in October, have not been this low for the month since October of 2018 and active listings, at 179, were down from 187 in September 2022. The composite home price was down 2% from September, and 8.6% lower than six months earlier, at $1,117,500 in October. With a sales-to-listing ratio of 54%, however, and a slim inventory of just a 4 month supply, this remains a seller’s market.

Port Coquitlam: This is one of the least-expensive housing markets in Greater Vancouver and the city saw sales rally in October as transactions increased 24% from September to 62 sales. This was down 49% from a year earlier, however, and the benchmark composite price continued a six-month slide to land at $917,000 in October, the lowest price in the Tri-City region. Active listings were at 187 at month end compared to 190 at the end of September.
This is a seller’s market with only a 3 month inventory at the current sales pace. Buyers, though, may consider PoCo an affordable option.

Pitt Meadows: With a current composite home price of $818,700, this small town attracts value-seeking buyers, including young families. With prices down 11% from six months ago, it will continue to be a draw. October total sales were up 5% from September to 21 transactions, but the total inventory of listings, at 107, and steep 25% drop in new listings in October from a month earlier means supply is limited. There is a 5 month supply of homes available so buyers should start looking early in this affordable market.

Maple Ridge: The benchmark price of a Maple Ridge townhouse in October was $732,000, but first-time buyers and young families should not get discouraged. In a recent search we found 9 active townhouse listings under $500,000, including some priced under $450,000. We also found more than a dozen condo apartments listed at less than $350,000, though the benchmark condo price is $525,500. A total of 99 sales were posted in October, down 14% from September, and the total inventory is a healthy 592, about double what it was a year ago. With a 6 month supply of listings and composite home prices down 17% in the past 6 months, this is a balanced market that is tilting sharply to a buyer’s advantage.

Ladner: Ladner’s new multi-family construction this year is mostly subsidized rentals, which won’t ease the tight inventory of market housing. With just 91 total listings on the market and a sales-to-listing ratio of 57%, supply is running low. In October, 21 residential properties sold at a benchmark of $1,110,600, a price up 0.6% from September, the first month-over-month price increase in at least six months. The detached house benchmark price, at $1,354,900, is 12.5% lower than in May 2022 but nearly unchanged (up 1%) from a year ago. With a 4 month supply of homes available, this is a seller’s market where prices are balancing.

Tsawwassen: The red-hot Southlands community helped drive sales and prices of townhouses in the area higher this spring, but prices have eased since. The benchmark Tsawwassen townhouse price in October was $1,218,400, still higher than in Richmond, Burnaby and even East Vancouver, but down 9.4% compared to 6 months earlier, when multiple offers were still being seen. Total home sales in October reached 28, up 33% from a month earlier but down 56% from October 2021. Detached houses are selling for $1,536,100, down 10.8% over the past six months. This is considered a balanced market with a 7 month supply of listings and a sales-to-listing ratio of 45% as of October.

Surrey: October sales of all types of homes were down sharply in October compared to a year earlier: detached sales fell 64.5% to 129 transactions; townhouse sales were down 52% and condo apartment sales dropped by 49.4% to just 146 units. Prices have stabilized, however, virtually unchanged from a month earlier. Detached houses sold in October at a benchmark of $1,584,100, up 2% from a October 2021; 128 townhouses sold at a $828,100 benchmark; and the condo apartment price was up 11% from a year earlier at $527,700. Still, with a huge inventory of homes listed and sales down at least 50% from a year ago, there are deals to be had. For instance, there were 111 active detached-house listings in Surrey priced at $900,000 or less and 24 condo apartments listed at $275,000 or less as this Dexter report was put together.

Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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Sales and Listing Report: September 2022
Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
Charles F. Kettering

New listings, housing starts flirt with record lows in August

Highlights of the August 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 segmentFraser 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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Sales and Listing Report: August 2022

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”

Charles F. Kettering

New listings, housing starts flirt with record lows in August

Highlights of the August 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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Sales and Listing Report for July 2022

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie

Homebuyers, investors take advantage in this market

Highlights of the July Report

  • Average 5-year mortgage rates are up just 1.4% from six months ago.
  • First-time homebuyers in B.C. are down 46% compared to a year ago.
  • Foreign homebuyers now account for just 1% of Metro transactions.
  • July benchmark detached house price is up $47,500 from January 2022.
  • The number of active listings are in decline

There are two sectors of homebuyers in Metro Vancouver’s market: owner-occupiers buying for their own use and investors buying homes for rental income or appreciation, with the latter traditionally accounting for about 20% of transactions. The current calming of the housing market represents an historical opportunity for both parties.

The current calming of the housing market represents an historical opportunity for both parties. For homebuyers who plan to purchase a property to live in for a long time, the current hysteria over rather modest mortgage interest rate hikes shouldn’t impact their purchase decision. After the drama of three Bank of Canada rates hikes, the average five-year fixed-rate mortgage at Canada’s six big banks has increased by just 1.4% in the last six months. Buyers purchasing into a five- or 10-year ownership horizon will be glad they bought during this lull in the summer of 2022.

It is rather ironic that, as strong economy creates near full employment in B.C. some look back to the global pandemic as the good old days.

But those who bought a Greater Vancouver home in pre-pandemic July 2019 – when the market was quite sluggish – would have experienced an average lift in benchmark value of 21% as of this month, or a cash increase in excess of $212,000. A detached house returned 41%, or a typical increase of $583,600, despite the recent easing of detached prices.

Since the start of this year, the typical detached house price is up by $47,500, though prices have declined over the past four months.

Of course, there is the psychological, counterintuitive factor at play, as many homebuyers pull to the sidelines just when they should be buying and then plunge in just when the market is peaking. It is a consistent phenomena that defies logic or change. The winning homebuyers in the current market cycle, as in the sleepy summer of 2019, will be those who act while others hesitate.

Some buyers, however, are being shunted aside in the current cycle: first-time homebuyers and foreign buyers. This may prove a boon to investors.

During the first half of this year, the number of B.C. first-time buyers fell 46% compared to the same period last year, accounting for just 4,426 purchasers. A key reason is the federal government’s mandatory stress test, which requires buyers to qualify at an unrealistically high five-year mortgage rate that many first buyers have difficulty meeting. Instead of buying, more than 4,000 will remain renters.

Also, while foreign homebuyers before the Foreign Buyer Tax may have accounted for 6% or more of all sales, they now make up only 1% of Metro Vancouver transactions, according to the BC Finance Ministry. The reason is a 20% of a home’s value tax on foreign buyer and the looming two-year ban on foreign homebuyers next January by the Federal Government.

So, investors who are purchasing investment condominiums now are enjoying lower prices, zero competition from global investors, a captive audience of renters and rising rental rates.

Investors realize that, despite all the government chest thumping over increasing the supply, Metro Vancouver housing starts as of July were down 23% from a year earlier and the new strata shortage is getting worse.

Part of the reason for this is government fees and taxes on new condos and townhomes, which, according to a survey released July 5 by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., account for up to 20% of a new strata price in Metro Vancouver. The Government Charges on Residential Development in Canada’s Largest Metropolitan Areas survey found a typical developer’s profit on a new condo is estimated at between 10% to 15%, so Metro Vancouver municipalities can make more money on a new home than those who build it. That’s not right, but it is reality.

The City of Vancouver, CMHC reported, has Canada’s highest average cost per-square-foot on new strata buildings, at $143 per square foot, owing entirely to density payments.

When the market was surging, private developers could handle such disparity. With sales and prices slowing, projects are being delayed or cancelled, which will lead to a further shortage of new condos and townhouses this fall.

We are now in a brief and government-induced buyer’s market that both homebuyers and savvy investors should take advantage of. While the market is slower now, like every market, this one will turn too. Buyers, enjoy it now!

Here is a look at the regional numbers:

Greater Vancouver: With the total inventory of homes for sale now at 6-month supply, the market has moved into balanced territory with some regions into a buyer’s market, especially for detached houses. The sales-to-listing ratio for detached houses in July fell to 39% and there are 8-months supply of homes available, which, if it persists, generally means prices are heading lower. A total of 1,904 residential properties sold in July, down 33% from a month earlier and 44% lower than in July 2021 and lower than even July 2019 and 2018. The composite benchmark home price in July is $1,207,400. This is a 10.3% increase over July 2021 but a 2.3% decrease compared to June 2022. Benchmark prices have been slowly declining, month-over-month since February. The July benchmark price for a detached home is $2,000,600, a 2.8 per cent decrease compared to June 2022. Active listings were at 10,734 at month end compared to 10,367 at that time last year but nearly unchanged from June 2022 at 10,839; New listings in July were down 25% compared to June 2022 and 10% lower than in July 2021.

July saw 4,067 new listings come to the market which was below the 5,410 that came on the market in June 2022 and less than the 4,514 that came out in July 2021 – sellers are beginning to hold off as well as many aren’t prepared to sell at prices below what they could have obtained earlier this year. And with less, listings, there are more properties coming off the market that were listed which is resulting in lower active listing counts. The number of new listings in July were 19% below the 10-year average (down from 3.5% below the 10-year average last month).

Fraser Valley: In July, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported 993 sales, a decrease of 22.5% from the previous month and a 50.5% drop compared to July 2021. July new listings totalled 2,385, down 28.4% compared to June 2022 and a decrease of 1.9% from July 2021. Active listings, at 6,413, were unchanged from June and up 30.9% over last July – bringing the sector into balance for townhomes and detached homes (sales-to-active ratios: 18% and 12% respectively); and favouring sellers slightly for apartments. Benchmark prices dropped for the fourth consecutive month, most notably for detached homes which ended the month with a benchmark price of $1,594,400, down 10.2% since peaking in March 2022. Residential combined properties benchmark prices are up year-over-year by 18.1 per cent. Clearly the biggest gain earlier this year is seeing more of a pull back.

Vancouver Westside: There were only 368 total residential sales in July, down 18% from a month earlier to the lowest July level in at least four years. The Westside now has a 15-month supply of detached houses on the market, signally a buyer’s market in this sector. The July benchmark price of the 43 detached house sales was down 3.4% from June 2022 to $3,381,800. That is a drop of about $115,000 in a single month. Total active listings were 2,453 at month end compared to 2,558 at that time last year and down 3% from June 2022. New listings in July were down 23% compared to June 2022 and lowest level since at least July 2019. Condominiums now dominate the Westside, accounting for 294 sales in July at a benchmark price of $844,300.

Vancouver East Side: As the Broadway subway, the new St. Paul’s Hospital medical campus and a growing tech sector take shape in the area, the East Side could be the right side for investors this year. The median price of the 101 detached house sales sold in July was $1,790,000, almost exactly half the house price on the Westside. The East Side is a rare market where developers continue to assemble residential lots for higher-density strata (there are at least six land assemblies underway) and rentals. The July sales-to-listing ratio for detached houses was 39%, with condo sales ratios at 53%. With 1,191 total active listings and just 198 sales in July, there is an opportunity to find very good investments amid a healthy inventory. Look to the East 12th and Renfrew area and Commercial Drive to Main Street for condo rental and detached-house investor opportunities. The inventory of total residential listings is up to 6 month’s supply in a market seeking balance but favouring sellers.

North Vancouver: North Vancouver appears to have lot of construction underway, but nearly all the apartment starts this year are rentals, including 536 of the 750 new apartments. Actually, new strata starts are at near record lows. This is a concern, because new listings were down 35% in July compared to a month earlier and the total inventory of homes for sale is at just 573, while the sales ratio was running at 57%, up from 43% in June 2022. In July, 44 houses sold at a median price of just over $2 million, virtually unchanged from June but up $125,000 from a year earlier. With only a 3-month supply of listings on the market and steady prices, North Vancouver remains a seller’s market.

West Vancouver: With 30 of the total 43 sales in July, detached houses remain the draw for buyers in Metro’s most exclusive community. The benchmark price of a detached house in West Vancouver dropped 3.3% in July from a month earlier, yet remained at $3,376,200, second highest behind the Westside. Condo prices in West Vancouver, however, posted the biggest price drop – 6% – in Metro over the past three months, to $1,243,300. With total July sales down from a month and a year earlier and the inventory up to a 12-month supply, a mild buyer’s market is emerging in this aspirational market.

Richmond: Perhaps no other Metro market will feel the sting of a two-year foreign homebuyer ban as much as multicultural Richmond. The ban is to begin January 1, 2023, though surveys show that foreign-home buyers now account for only 1% of transactions. The ban has notable exemptions for permanent residents and temporary residents, including temporary workers and international students. Still, Richmond sales were down 44% in July from June 2022 and 48% lower than in July of last year, to just 223 transactions. The composite benchmark price is $1,162,400 after declining 3.2% over the last three months. Active listings were at 1,356 at month end compared to 1,380 at the end of June 2022. Total supply of residential listings is up to 6-month’s supply, which signals a balanced market, and the sales-to-listing rate is a very balanced 52%. Richmond could go either way, but we believe it could tilt into a buyer’s market this fall.

Burnaby East: Burnaby East is a fine family neighbourhood with two large parks, good schools, transit and shopping but it was looked over by buyers in July. 
Total housing sales were just 22, down 52% from a year earlier to the lowest monthly level this year. However, with a very tight supply – just 68 total listings – new listings down 42% from a year ago and a sales-to-listing ratio of 67%, this remains a seller’s market. Composite prices have been dropping for three months and were down 2.1% from June 2022 at $1,154,200; detached house have declined to $1,805,400, the lowest in Burnaby.

Burnaby North: With U.K.-based Grosvenor proceeding with a 7.9-acre land assembly in Brentwood for a “car-free” high-density rental and condo development, and Shape Properties marketing its sixth tower in the area, high-rise condos will continue to define Burnaby North. In July, the benchmark condo price was unchanged from June 2022 at $734,800, but 15% higher than a year earlier. The biggest price drop has been in townhouses, which shed 4% from June 2022 to a $942,600 benchmark. Total housing sales, at 124, were down 37% from a year earlier and lower than in both May and June of this year. Despite the surging condo construction, there is only a total inventory of 4 month’s supply of total listings and the sales-to-listing ratio is holding steady at 51%. This is seller’s market, with slightly lower prices.

Burnaby South: With the sales-to-listing ratio at 61% in July, local buyers may be surprised that sales were down 12% from a month earlier and 38% below July 2021, at 126 transactions. Yet, prices are also down, posting the biggest drops in Burnaby this year. Detached house prices are down 7.2% from June 2022, at $2,108,600; townhouse prices are down nearly 5% at $990,500. July condominium benchmark prices were off 3.2% from three months earlier, at $778,600. New Listings in July were down 27% compared to June 2022 and 24% lower compared to July 2021. This is technically a seller’s market but it is leaning towards a buyer’s price advantage.

New Westminster: The July composite home benchmark price in the Royal City was $834,200 after falling 3.7% since April to the lowest price in Greater Vancouver, below even Maple Ridge and the Sunshine Coast, both of which are much further from Vancouver’s SkyTrain network. A detached house in New Westminster is now benchmarked at $1,487,200, down 8.2% from three months earlier. Condo apartment prices are holding steady at $661,500 as are townhouses, down just 0.7% from June 2020 at $945,300.

Total July sales reached 82 transactions, down 50% from a year earlier and 26% below June 2020. Total inventory is 293 listings, which equates to about a 4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is posting a sales-to-listing ratio of 55%. Buyers may find some lower-priced deals in New Westminster this summer, but we expect the market to firm in September.

Coquitlam: Total housing sales have cooled sharply, dropping 25% in July from a month earlier and down 51% from a year earlier. Blame it on the summer heat, perhaps, but new listings are also fading, down 23% from June. The sales ratio is sitting at 50% and there is about a 5-month supply of active listings in what has become a balanced market. Benchmark prices for detached houses have fallen 5.5% since April to $1,853,500. Townhouse prices have been dropping 2% per month since March to reach $1,080,700 in July. Half of the new listings sold in July and we expect family-friendly Coquitlam home sales to pick up after kids are back in school.

Port Moody: Total units sold in July were 45 – down from 57 (21%) in June 2022, and down 52% from July 2021. Active Listings were at 203 at month end compared to 161 at that time last year and 218 (down 7%) at the end of June; New Listings in July are down 31% compared to June 2022, but unchanged from a year earlier. Month’s supply of total residential listings is up to 5 month’s supply (balanced market conditions) and sales to listings ratio is 54% compared to 48% in June 2022. The composite benchmark price has slipped down about 2% from April to $1,197,300.

Port Coquitlam: Total units in July were 71 – down from 94 (24%) in June 2022 and 31% lower than in July 2021. Sales were also lower than in July 2020 and July 2019.
Active listings have held steady for two months at 212, representing a 3-month supply.
The sales ratio is at 52%. PoCo is having a quiet summer, but this remains a seller’s market with some bargain prices surfacing: the composite benchmark price has fallen 8.7% over the past three months to $946,100; and detached house prices are down 12% so far this year to $1,395,500.

Pitt Meadows: Pitt Meadows had been one of the hot markets during the pandemic, but things change. Total housing sales this July, at 22, were down from both May and June of this year and 44% below July 2021. Active listings were 91 at the end of July, nearly double the 54 in July of last year, and new listings are up 31% from a year earlier. Detached-house benchmark prices have been falling since January and were down 9.3% from April to $1,335,900 in July. However, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 45% – compared to a sizzling 100% a year earlier – and about 4-month’s supply of homes on the market, this remains a seller’s advantage in a slow summer.

Maple Ridge: The benchmark detached house price in Maple Ridge apparently peaked in January and has been dropping ever since, down 8.7% since April to $1,343,800, which is also 3.4% lower than the start of this year. We may see more price corrections. Total sales in July were down 20% from June 2020 at 110 transactions, and 43% lower than in July 2021. Meanwhile, active listings increased to 638, up from 386 in July 2021. Maple Ridge is balanced and leaning towards a buyer’s market, with the sales-to-listing ratio dropping to 38% and a 6-month’s supply of homes for sale.

Ladner: Ladner is remaking its downtown and the waterfront village has perhaps too many summer distractions since homebuyers took a breather in July. Housing sales dropped 55% from month earlier and were down 67% from July 2021, one of the biggest declines in the Metro region. Total listings are rising and the sales-to-listing ratio is at 32%. This is a buyer’s market, with the composite home price falling steadily for six months and down 1.7% from a month earlier in July at $1,169,300, with an estimated 9-month’s supply of homes for sale.

Tsawwassen: With the popular Southlands development, townhouses have been one of the top housing sectors in Tsawwassen this year. We were seeing multiple bids in April and May of this year. Buyers will have noticed that prices have dropped since, with the typical townhouse selling in July for $989,600, the lowest price since January and down 4.6% since April. Detached house prices are also at the lowest level in 2022, down nearly 8% from three months ago, to $1,595,700. This is reflected in a sales decline, with July transactions of 40 homes down 30% from a month earlier and 52% below July 2021. We consider this a balanced market, with a 6-month’s supply and the sale success ratio at 50% in July, down from a ratio of 89% in the hot market of July 2021.

Surrey: B.C.’s second largest city has seen a dramatic shift in its housing market this year. Starts of new condos and townhouses have plunged 75% this year, dropping from 2,105 in the first six months of 2021 to just 509 units so far in 2022. Condo starts fell 77% year-to-year, based on CMHC data. July detached sales were down a startling 64% from July 2021 and were down 25.4% from June 2020 as the average price dropped 5.8% month-to-month to $1,662,928. Listings are down from 30% to 63% from a year earlier in the six Surrey neighbourhoods, but prices are holding steady in the townhouse ($876,500) and condo ($540,651) sectors. We are calling Surrey a buyer’s market that could get very active over the next few months.

Kevin Skipworth, Partner/Broker and Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

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